This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Timber trackway site, 700m west of Honeygar Farm

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Timber trackway site, 700m west of Honeygar Farm

List entry Number: 1014434

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: Mendip

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Meare

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 18-Jun-1996

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27992

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Wooden trackways were constructed in the prehistoric period between the Neolithic and the later pre-Roman Iron Age, primarily as communication routes across wet areas of ground and as a means of access to the natural resources of wetlands. Most excavated examples take the form of simple structures of brushwood or hurdlework, although some are of more complex pile, plank and log construction. Wooden trackways normally had a very short active lifespan, leading to the clustering of tracks where a communications route was in existence over a long period; some isolated examples are, however, recorded. Because they were sited in wetland areas, trackways generally became buried by the accumulation of peat soon after their construction, and they are now generally recorded as a result of peat extraction, followed by survey and excavation elsewhere along their length. Approximately 75 examples of either trackways or groups of trackways have been recorded in England. Because of the way in which they are discovered, this is likely to be only a small proportion of those present in the prehistoric period, and some of the recorded examples will have been destroyed or badly damaged by desiccation of the organic components. Over half the recorded examples are from the Somerset Moors. Trackways yield information concerning woodworking, tools, woodland management, and trading or communication routes. They are usually associated with deposits containing well-preserved environmental data such as pollen, beetle, and macro-plant remains, and they may be significant sources of dendrochronological data. As a rare and diverse form of structure used throughout the prehistoric period, all identified prehistoric wooden trackways with surviving archaeological remains, would normally be considered to be of national importance.

The timber trackway site 700m west of Honeygar Farm includes the organic remains of sections of two Neolithic timber trackways, the Honeygore Track and the Abbot's Way. These are located within the Somerset Levels and Moors, a wetland area of high archaeological value, which has seen rapid landscape change in the past 200 years as a result of drainage and intensive peat extraction.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument contains the organic remains of sections of two Neolithic timber trackways, the Honeygore Track and the Abbot's Way. The monument is located on the Westhay Level, 700m to the west of Honeygar Farm. The tracks are both thought to extend from the sand `island' of Catcott Burtle in the west to the rock `island' of Westhay in the east. The line of the Honeygore Track has been traced by bore-holes through the northern field of the two included in the scheduling. It consists of birch brushwood and roundwood longitudinals, laid over frequent transverse stems. The upper layers were occasionally covered in brushwood, and twigs, bark, leaves and general wood debris lay around and below the track. Stakes occurred within and alongside the track, sometimes in pairs. The track has been dated by radiocarbon between the range 3650-3500 BC. There are a number of other brushwood structures associated with the Honeygore Track, namely the Honeycat, Honeybee, Honeydew and Honeypot Tracks. The Abbot's Way Track is so named because of a priory at Burtle and a former monastic establishment at Westhay, between which it was thought to run. The substantial corduroy track consists of transverse birch and alder planks, with birch, ash and hazel pegs at regular intervals along the outside of the planks. Stringers or longitudinals of birch occasionally lay over the planks, giving an effective width of 1m. The planks are overlain in places by slats and fragments of planking. The track has been traced west to east for a distance of over 2.5km from Westhay to Catcott Burtle. The radiocarbon date range is between 2630-2280 BC. Excluded from the scheduling are all modern fences, posts and troughs, though the ground beneath is included.

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

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Godwin, H, Prehistoric Wooden Trackways in the Somerset Levels, (1960), 22-23
Godwin, H, Prehistoric Wooden Trackways in the Somerset Levels, (1960), 18-22
Coles, J M, Orme, B J, 'Somerset Levels Papers' in The Abbot's Way, , Vol. 2, (1976), 7-20
Coles, J M et al, 'Somerset Levels Papers' in A Neolithic Jigsaw: the Honeygore Complex, , Vol. 11, (1985), 51-61
Coles, J M et al, 'Somerset Levels Papers' in Some Neolithic Brushwood Structures 1984-1985, , Vol. 14, (1988), 34-43
Coles, B J, Dobson, M J, 'Somerset Levels Papers' in Calibration of Radiocarbon dates from the Somerset Levels, (1989), 64-69
Coles, B J, Dobson, M J, 'Somerset Levels Papers' in Calibration of Radiocarbon dates from the Somerset Levels, (1989), 64-69
Coles, J M, 'Somerset Levels Papers' in The Abbot's Way 1979, , Vol. 6, (1980), 46-51
Other
Honeygore 23790, flint 25245, axe 23048,
SMR entries, Abbot's Way 23789, flint 25245, axe 23048,

National Grid Reference: ST 41793 42773

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. 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 - 1014434 .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 23-Nov-2017 at 08:43:39.

End of official listing