Roman briquetage mounds on Burtle Moor


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1006148.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 05-Dec-2020 at 22:59:15.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Sedgemoor (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 39461 44433


Part of a Romano British salt works 390m north west of Burtle Moor Farm.

Reasons for Designation

Salt has been produced from sea water or, in inland areas, from brine springs since before Roman times, and the technology used displays a marked continuity with earlier production methods. Brine, from which the water was evaporated to produce the salt, was collected in one of two ways, either by its filtration from coastal sand, soil or pebbles impregnated with salt water during high tides and periodic inundation, or by its collection in pools or pits filled at high tide or by inland springs, sometimes by way of a system of channels, dams and sluices. Salt workings or Salterns include a range of features connected with the collection and evaporation processes, of which the most visually distinctive are the oval or kidney-shaped middens of waste material which may cover areas of 2ha or more. Other features usually survive in buried form beneath and around the middens, illustrating the fact that salterns were often in use for periods of at least a century, during which time they were occupied seasonally, their component structures being rebuilt at the beginning of each summer or as required. Evaporation was often aided by an evaporation kiln fuelled by peat or wood products, of which several different types are known, and the remains of temporary wooden buildings, wooden or wicker troughs and clay-lined pits have also been found during excavation. Salt was an expensive commodity particularly in demand for food preservation and curing.

Despite partial excavation the part of a Romano British salt works 390m north west of Burtle Moor Farm survives well and will contain important information concerning Roman salt manufacturing techniques.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 26 August 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes part of a Romano British salt works situated within the Somerset Levels in an area known as Burtle Moor between the River Brue and the Sand Ditch Rhyne. The salt workings survive as a series of at least five roughly circular mounds standing between 6m and 22m in diameter and from 0.3m to1.2m high and identified by their high briquetage content. They form part of a much larger identified complex of salt workings in the area. Although first noted as possible Roman potteries, the excavations by Bulleid in 1914 found the mounds were generally circular and composed of large quantities of briquetage including potsherds, tiles and bricks intermixed with fine ash but with no specific kilns. Although pot wasters were found many felt the kiln-sites were actually for boiling salt water, to evaporate it thus producing salt. The mounds date to the 3rd-4th centuries AD and have been linked to marine transgressions into the areas where they are usually found, which seems to confirm this suggested purpose.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
SO 429
Legacy System:


PastScape Monument No:-617674 and 192290


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].