Looe Island, Cornwall: Time Team finds the Romans

Yet again, thanks to Explorator.

ARCHAEOLOGISTS from Channel 4’s Time Team uncovered evidence of Roman activity during excavations on Looe Island, just off the Cornish coast.

The island – famous as the home of sisters Rosalyn “Babs” Atkins and her sister Evelyn, who bequeathed their home to Cornwall Wildlife Trust – is to feature heavily in the forthcoming programme Hermit Harbour.

Island warden Jon Ross said: “This was such a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the history of the island and watching the experts go about their business was hugely enjoyable. It was a massive undertaking with over 50 crew and all their equipment being ferried on and off the island by local boatmen. I’m really looking forward to watching the programme.”

The focus of the dig was the St Michael’s chapel site at the highest point on the island, otherwise known as St George’s.

It is suggested the island was purchased by Glastonbury Abbey to capitalise on the pilgrim trade relating to the cult of St Michael.

The chapel was then transferred to the mainland in the 12th century as devoted pilgrims were drowning while trying to access the island on St Michael’s Day.

The chapel on the mainland, called Lammana, was also excavated as part of the programme, which will be screened on March 1 at 5.30pm.

“Back in May, Time Team descended on St George’s Island to try and unravel the history of the island,” one of the crew said.

“The archaeology didn’t disappoint – it was a challenging but incredibly rewarding three days.”

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2 Responses

  1. It may be (or not) of interest that my family spent many happy summers (late 60’s – 70’s). I know the landscape of Looe Island intimately and often dream about it. Of course, I knew the previous owners (the Atkins). Many times did we ascend to the mount and wonder at the grave-stones there whilst eating marmite sandwiches and drinking orange squash.

    My Father fixed the sewers, extended the jetty, erected a telescope and built a “dam” to raise the level of the rock-pool. There is more.

    Tim.

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