Medieval settlement 190m south west of Perry's Bridge


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement 190m south west of Perry's Bridge
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Somerset (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 57563 30182

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 last 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the West Wessex sub-Province of the Central Province, an area characterised by large numbers of villages and hamlets within countrysides of great local diversity, ranging from flat marshland to hill ridges. Settlements range from large, sprawling villages to tiny hamlets, a range extended by large numbers of scattered dwellings in the extreme east and west of the sub-Province. Cultivation in open townfields was once present, but early enclosure was commonplace. The physical diversity of the landscape was, by the time of Domesday Book in 1086, linked with great variations in the balance of cleared land and woodland. The Somerset Levels and Polden Hills local region is divided into two parts by the low ridge of the Poldens. Settlements are few on the wide green wetlands, but the land is intricate enough to bring ridges, islands and tongues of higher land into close contact with the Levels. It is at the junction between these dry lands and wetlands that ancient villages and hamlets are to be found.

The medieval settlement 190m south west of Perry's Bridge is represented by well defined earthworks which mark the locations of houses, including the site of a possible manor house, and associated fields, paddocks and other features which suggest that the community was devoted primarily to agriculture, possibly acting as a focus for manorial administration. These earthworks and additional buried features will contain archaeological deposits and environmental evidence relating to the settlement and the landscape in which it was constructed.


The monument includes the surviving portion of a medieval settlement located in a field known as Perry Court immediately west of Perry Hill Road. It is situated on a wide tract of low lying ground to the south of the River Cary and north west of Lower Foddington. The earthwork remains of the settlement are aligned broadly from north to south and are represented by a series of rectangular, square, circular and linear earthworks which indicate the sites of settlement features such as houses, yards, paddocks or small fields, ponds, and at least two connecting streets or tracks. A hollow way, approximately 8m wide, running from north to south is located at the centre of the site and probably served as the main street. At least four well defined platforms, up to 1m high, with an average length of 20m and approximately 15m wide, are considered to mark the position of houses located adjacent to the west side of the hollow way. A second hollow way crosses the northern section of the site from east to west and forms a junction with the main street. A further two house platforms approximately 20m across are located adjacent to its north side. Three pits or dry ponds, with an average diameter of 15m and between about 0.5m to 1m deep are located in the southern part of the settlement. Two smaller pits are located near to the centre of the site. Several small fields or paddocks, approximately 50m long and 20m wide and defined by low banks, are visible on the east side of the settlement between the main street and the modern road. A 5m wide linear ditch which runs from north to south is located on the west side of the settlement. The ditch is flanked on its inner side at its north west corner for part of its length by a bank of a similar width, and forms a right angle to the north west of the main settlement features; it has been interpreted as part of the boundary of a manor house. Traces of a low bank around the perimeter of the field in which the earthworks lie can still be seen in places, which suggests that the settlement was enclosed although this bank has become obscured by thick hedges and modern drainage. All of the visible earthworks were surveyed by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England in 1978.

All post and wire fences, telegraph poles and water troughs are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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.

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Books and journals
Aston, M, 'Proceedings Somerset Archaeological & Natural History Society' in Somerset Archaeology, , Vol. 121, (1976), 117-119
RCHME, Survey of Perry Court Field, (1978)


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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