Alstone lake settlement site


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Alstone lake settlement site
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Jul-2019 at 13:52:51.


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

Sedgemoor (District Authority)
West Huntspill
National Grid Reference:
ST 31297 46794

Reasons for Designation

Known Iron Age settlements preserved in waterlogged conditions are rare nationally. The Iron Age settlement at Alstone, lying as it did at the interface between an island shore and the open water of the surrounding flooded landscape, is an important example of a rare and valuable type of site which exists in very limited topographical situations and has high archaeological value. The high potential for waterlogged preservation of organic material and a wide diversity of features and artefacts, rarely encountered in more common dry land sites, gives such sites great importance in increasing understanding of the skills and way of life of past communities. The protection of this site, the only part of the area of occupation which has not been built upon, preserves unique evidence of the activities which took place at Alstone in the Iron Age, this evidence is invaluable to our understanding of the period locally and nationally.


The monument includes an unexcavated area of an Iron Age settlement together with evidence of Romano-British and medieval occupation. The site is located at the interface of a Burtle Bed island and the contemporary surrounding water at Alstone. Excavations in the field immediately to the east produced Iron Age occupation features and finds, including pottery of Meare Lake Village `B' type and faunal evidence, as well as traces of Romano-British and 12th- 14th century activity. The density of finds at the boundary between the scheduled monument and the area of excavations confirms the extension of the occupation along the water-edge into the scheduled area. The monument is situated in a field with a higher, more uneven southern part and a lower, flatter area to the north. This topography reflects the edge of the Burtle island sloping down into the water to the north, the area of water having long since returned to land. The land/water interface provided a favourable environment for settlement as it permitted economic exploitation of both zones. Excavations of comparable settlements at Glastonbury and Meare have shown how rich such sites can be, preserving not only a wide range of occupational and technological evidence, but also preserving rare organic materials which can survive in the waterlogged conditions. Modern buildings are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground below those buildings is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Miles, H, Miles, T J, 'Proc Somerset Arch & Nat Hist Soc' in Alstone, West Huntspill, , Vol. 113, (1969), 44-53


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

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