Medieval settlement 300m east of Knight House Farm


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


Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement 300m east of Knight House Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Sep-2019 at 14:37:55.


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

South Somerset (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 37536 10619

Reasons for Designation

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the extensive south-west Peninsula sub-Province of the Northern and Western Province, an area climatically, culturally and physically distinct from the rest of England. It includes varying terrains, from the granite uplands, through rolling dissected plateaux to fertile clay lowlands in the east. Nucleated settlements are present, notably in the Devon Lowlands and throughout the South Hams. Many of these originated as small towns, whilst a high proportion may be late foundations. Excluding only the moorland masses, the sub-Province is characterised by medium and high densities of dispersed settlements; indeed, some of the former industrial areas had densities as high as any in the country. The Axe Valley local region is characterised by having comparatively few village settlements and high densities of scattered farmsteads. Intricate terrains are associated with hedged enclosures, woodland patches and a complex network and roads and paths, many of which are cut deeply into the land as hollow ways.

Many medieval settlements, such as this one at Cudworth, were organised agricultural communities, sited at the centre of a parish or township, that shared resources such as arable land, meadow and woodland. Their plans varied enormously, but when they survive as earthworks their most distinguishing features include roads and minor tracks, platforms on which stood houses and other buildings such as barns, enclosed crofts and small enclosed paddocks. They frequently included the parish church within their boundaries, and as part of the manorial system most examples included one or more manorial centres which may also survive as visible remains as well as below ground deposits. The medieval settlement at Cudworth survives well and will contain archaeological deposits and environmental evidence relating to the settlement and the landscape in which it was constructed. It is listed in the Domesday survey and there are contemporary documents relating to the medieval settlement and to the moated site and church located nearby.


The monument includes a medieval settlement located to the east of Knight House Farm, Cudworth. The site is linear in plan and is located in Higher Broad Field on a gentle east and south facing slope adjacent to the west bank of Wall Brook. The settlement includes earthworks indicating the site of village features such as houses, small fields or paddocks, a network of streets and tracks and an area of medieval cultivation. A hollow way up to 6m wide, indicating a village street, crosses the site from east to west along which are located several house platforms. Evidence of medieval agriculture survives at the centre of the settlement where traces of ridge and furrow are visible within a rectangular field, defined by a shallow ditch to the north and south. Two more house platforms, and possibly a third, are located to the north of the ridge and furrow and south of the present road. These are connected to the village street by two tracks which pass either side of the ridge and furrow. The track to the east runs parallel with Wall Brook between the field of ridge and furrow and the river's flood plain. Several small fields or paddocks defined by low banks, are located to the east and north of the area of cultivation. Cudworth is mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086, where it is recorded that the site was established before 1066. The settlement is also mentioned in 14th century documents and it lies just to the east of a medieval moated site and the Church of St Michael. All fence posts and telegraph poles are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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:


Somerset County Council SMR,


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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