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South West Archaeology was asked to conduct a building survey, cartographic desk-based research, and an archaeological evaluation, followed by excavation, on the site of the Electric Bingo Hall, Newport Street, Tiverton in advance of the demolition of the building and during the site's future development. The documentary and cartographic evidence suggested that the former standing building on the site, known as the Electric Bingo Hall, was primarily used as a drill hall, and was converted for use as a cinema in the early 20th century before being converted into the bingo hall with a first floor snooker club. However, the evidence from within the building itself, although unattested within the documentary record, suggested additional possible former uses as both warehouse and theatre. The initial archaeological evaluation of the site revealed that its southern part contained no deposits or features of archaeological significance. In the northern part of the site, however, various features (generally pits) were found, some of which contained medieval ceramics. This material dated mainly to the 13th century but also included a possible Saxo-Norman shard. In limited areas, shallow deposits, including a possible floor with truncated clay-bonded wall footings, survived, with the pottery again suggesting a medieval origin. Generally these were covered by a layer of modern material relating to the 19th century building that had stood on the site. However, a strip about 7m wide along the eastern edge of the site lay outside the footprint of this building and more substantial archaeological deposits were found to have survived in this area. The lowest of these were later medieval or early modern in date and overlying medieval features cut into the natural or abutting probable medieval footings. Some of these layers were suggestive of demolition in the 17th century. A layer of cobbling that survived in much of the northeastern corner of the site post-dated this demolition. Later layers overlay this and there was considerable disturbance (notably service trenching) from the 19th century. The archaeology of this part of the site thus suggested medieval occupation fronting onto Newport Street, with demolition in the 17th century and the subsequent construction of structures and cobbled surfaces preceeding the Victorian and later activity which overlaid the majority of the site, as well as cut through it in places.

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