A Comprehensive range of archaeological, heritage and historical services in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset

 South West Archaeology: Who We Are and What We Do

South West Archaeology is a well-established and independent practice based in South Molton, Devon. South West Archaeology primarily operates throughout Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, but is also able to work further afield. The cornerstone of our practice is a dedicated and highly professional team, all of whom are skilled across a variety of archaeological and professional disciplines. We have a broad depth of experience in a range of archaeological techniques, including Desk-Based Assessments, Historic Building Surveys and Archaeological Excavation. We work in close partnership with a variety of organisations including planners, architects and government bodies, in order to achieve the best possible results for our clients and the archaeological record.


We are employed by clients looking to carry out Planning Projects and Development Projects across the region. We provide a whole range of archaeological services including Project Consultancy, Watching Briefs, Geophysical Surveys and Excavation. Carrying out this level of work across both urban and rural landscapes allows us to preserve scheduled ancient monuments, historic features, such as listed buildings and the supposed original purposes and meanings of these structures. We ensure that our clients are able to fulfil the archaeological requirements of the planning process and corporate responsibility, with the aim of keeping costs and delays to a minimum. By aiming for a swift completion of all jobs we take on, we allow for the harmonious existence of modern development and archaeology.

Archaeological Issues: Why are archaeological planning conditions imposed?

Archaeological planning conditions are imposed where an important archaeological site is known to be present on a development area, and the local planning authority is therefore seeking to ensure that the remains can either be preserved in situ, or that they are recorded and reported by trained archaeological professionals. This, however, makes the assumption that it is possible, in advance of any archaeological investigations, to know exactly where all important sites are found and what their function and significance was. Therefore, archaeological planning conditions are also imposed where the County Archaeological Officer thinks that something might be present or where it has not been demonstrated that any archaeological remains are of limited interest or have already been destroyed in earlier developments to the site. For more information on Archaeology and planning applications, check out our Links page, where you will be guided to the relevant planning guidance and archaeological guidelines.

Can We Cater For You?


We welcome enquiries from private individuals, large commercial organisations and public sector departments. We are also pleased to hear from those who have an interest in archaeology and might wish to take part in some of our research projects. South West Archaeology has a wealth of experience in guiding clients through the physical and statutory demands of archaeological planning issues. This website is designed to outline the services that South West Archaeology can provide. We at South West Archaeology understand the time pressures and complexities that our clients face, so we aim to provide a professional and comprehensive service which minimises any of the added pressures archaeological planning constraints may have created. Our primary aim is to provide total satisfaction, on time, and on budget.