Map of the Lower Coast showing previously Registered Archaeological Sites in Trepassey, CeAi-01 and CeAi-02. CeAi-1 (Trepassey Battery) covers a late 18th – early 19th century English gun battery, now renovated with an interpretation board. CeAi-2 (Trepassey Human Remains) comprises at least two coffin burials discovered during construction of the fish plant at Meadow Point, now completely buried under made ground.
Test Pits 2014
North Devon Sgrafitto, which was produced between 1635 to 1710, discovered in test pit 7 in 2014.
The Trust conducted archaeological digs on the Lower Coast Trepassey in 2013, 2014 and 2017 recovering 17th century pottery. Archaeologists and local assistants are hired on a project basis.
2013 Field Work
In September 2013, Archaeologist Robyn Fleming, with a field assistant, spent seven days on the Lower Coast conducting an archaeological assessment of the stone walls and features located there. In all 92 test pits were dug, 82 on the east site (now designated CeAi-03 by the Provincial Archaeology Office); six on the west side (CeAi-04), and four at Valna Fad. As outlined in the report, the primary objective of the survey was to add to the knowledge of Trepassey’s cultural history, specifically as it relates to early settlement and land use. Evidence from CeAi-03 and CeAi-04 indicate that the Lower Coast was used by the resident population, many of whom were Irish or had Irish ancestry, as early as 1720, although it was more likely post-1830. Both CeAi-03 and CeAi-04 contain dry stone fence works which due to the absence of cultivated land were undoubtedly used to shelter and restrict the movement of livestock. Construction of fences by a former Irish population would not be surprising as double stone walls are present on the Irish landscape (McAfee 1997).
2014 Field Work
The report describes the archaeological survey that took place on Trepassey’s Lower Coast during the third week of October 2014. This survey was a continuation of the investigation into Trepassey's cultural history, specifically as it relates to early settlement and land use, which began in the fall of 2013. Artifacts present at the Currie's Lane (CeAi-06) and Jackson's Plantation (CeAi-07) sites indicate the areas were used as early as the 17th century, contained an 18th century English component and continued to be used in modern times. (Unfortunately Currie’s Lane experienced a number of disturbances over the years which led to components of the site being mixed. On the other hand, Jackson’s Plantation appears to have minimal disturbance.) Of the few objects that could be identified through ceramic sherds (cup/saucer, milk pan, plate) in addition to bottle and window glass and a glass drinking vessel, it appears the areas were associated with daily household activities. The presence of pipe fragments, a glass bead, a cologne bottle and a perfume bottle stopper represent individuals within the household as these items would likely be considered personal effects.
2017 Field Work
The report presents information concerning an archaeological survey that was conducted on the Lower Coast in Trepassey by Archaeologist Robyn Fleming during the period October 16-22, 2017. Subsequently, an additional day of excavation utilizing a mini excavator was completed in the vicinity of Daniel’s Point (CeAi-09). This work was supervised by Archaeologist Corey Hutchings. The Lower Coast finds confirmed the existence of a 17th and 18th century trading network extending from Trepassey to Italy, Spain, Germany, England and Wales.