By (author) Blaylock, Stuart R.
Bowhill is an important late medieval house near Exeter. This monograph demonstrates how examination of its historical development and the material of its construction were used to deepen understanding about it and to inform a repair programme. This approach combines the disciplines of documentary research, detailed fabric stratigraphic analysis, and architectural and technological history. English Heritage commissioned Exeter Archaeology, as leaders in the field of what is now called 'buildings archaeology', to carry out this study. The house was owned by two prominent West-Country families, the Holands and the Carews, and remained in the ownership of Carew descendants until the 1930s. From the early 18th century the house was tenanted, and much of its interest, if not its survival, is due to a long period of slow decline and limited adaptation. In 1976 the government purchased the building.
This book is about the archaeological study of the building in its widest sense - covering the buried remains, the standing fabric, artefacts, building materials, and pictorial and documentary sources - in the context of the repairs carried out over almost twenty years by English Heritage. In addition, the book aims to act as a guide to the hidden fabric of the building - exposed and recorded during repairs, but now covered once again - and to provide the background to some of the ground-breaking applied research that was used in its conservation. This integrated exercise in applied history will appeal to architectural historians, to archaeologists and to conservation professionals, both from scholarly and from technical backgrounds.