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Bantham Beach

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Bantham /ˈbænθəm/ is a coastal village in south Devon, England. It is in the South Hams district and lies on the estuary of the River Avon a quarter of a mile from the sea at Bigbury Bay.

Originally a fishing village, it was first documented as a port selling tin and various tin-made products to the Gauls during Roman times. During their occupation, the Romans built a large settlement to protect the entrance to the river at Bantham Ham, behind the dunes and to the west of the current village. The settlement, with evidence of an associated seasonal trading market, existed well into post-Roman Britain times. Later covered by sand, the settlement is known to have existed from the mid-18th century, after storms uncovered its burnt remains. As the landowners drained the local marshes during the 19th century, the workers were in part rewarded by being allowed to take the recovered human bones away and sell them. Since 1978, extensive archeological excavations have tracked the extent of the settlement, and it is now a scheduled ancient monument protected by English Heritage.

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