Iron Age defended settlement 400m south of Manor Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018267

Date first listed: 28-Jul-1960

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jun-1998

Map

Ordnance survey map of Iron Age defended settlement 400m south of Manor Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

District: North Somerset (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Wraxall and Failand

National Grid Reference: ST 52051 71927

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

During the Iron Age a variety of different types of settlement were constructed and occupied in south-western England. At the top of the settlement hierarchy were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition to these a group of smaller sites, known as defended settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others in less prominent positions. They are generally smaller than the hillforts, sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha. The enclosing defences were of earthen construction. Univallate sites have a single bank and ditch, multivallate sites more than one. At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Where excavated, evidence of stone- or timber-built houses has been found within the enclosures, which, in contrast to the hillfort sites, would have been occupied by small communities, perhaps no more than a single family group. Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element of the settlement pattern, particularly in the upland areas of south-western England, and are integral to any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during this period. All well-preserved examples are likely to be identified as nationally important.

The Iron Age defended settlement 400m south of Manor Farm survives well and is known from part excavation to contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. It is unusual for such a site to survive as an earthwork as most have been levelled and are now visible only as crop or soil marks from the air.

History

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

Details

The monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement situated on level ground in an upland area of carboniferous limestone, 400m south of Manor Farm. The monument has a level sub-oval interior with a maximum diameter of 40m; this contains slight earthworks which relate to the domestic structures formerley located inside. Surrounding the enclosed area is a bank and external ditch. The bank is composed of small stones overlying natural outcrops of rock: this survives to a maximum height of about 1m and is up to 8m wide. Where visible in the southern and western areas of the monument there are traces of an external ditch 8m wide. The remainder of the ditch has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature. There is a possible entrance 3m wide south in the south western area of the enclosure where the bank is disturbed, although it is not certain that this is an original feature. Part excavations conducted in 1928 revealed a Kimmeridge shale bracelet and sherds of black burnished pottery. These artefacts are characteristic of Iron Age rural settlements. Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts relating to the field boundary, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 22844

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Phillips, C, 'Proc Univ Bristol Spel Soc' in The Roman camp at Manor Farm, Failand, Somerset, (1933), 150
Phillips, C, 'Proc Univ Bristol Spel Soc' in The Roman camp at Manor Farm, Failand, Somerset, (1933), 150

End of official listing