Medieval settlement 160m south and 240m south west of Sandford Farm


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


Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement 160m south and 240m south west of Sandford 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 16-Jul-2019 at 04:57:15.


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

Sedgemoor (District Authority)
Sedgemoor (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 26957 37771, ST 27045 37775

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 Tone-Parrot Valley local region represents a transitional zone in one of the most complex settlement areas of England. It is distinguished by lower densities of dispersed settlement than are found further east. It has, however, similar densities of village settlements to those regions, and like them it is marked by an absence of references to woodland in its Anglo-Saxon placenames.

The medieval settlement 160m south and 240m south west of Sandford Farm is represented by earthworks which mark the locations of village features including the site of a possible moated manor house. These earthworks will contain archaeological deposits and environmental evidence relating to the settlement, the lives of the inhabitants and the landscape in which the monument was constructed, for which there are also contemporary documentary references.


The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes the remains of a medieval settlement located to the south of Perrymoor Brook, on the western outskirts of Bridgwater. The settlement, known as Sandford, lies on ground which gradually rises southwards and occupies two fields which lie on either side of the A39 Bridgwater to Minehead road. The major part of the settlement earthworks lie within the field on the west side. A series of earthwork hollow ways which indicate the courses of village streets and lanes are visible across the site and one particular example is located in the field to the east of the A39; this is up to 6m wide and follows an east to west alignment before being truncated by the road. It re-emerges into the field on the west side and probably represents the course of the main village street. Several well-defined platforms are located on either side of this hollow way which indicate the sites of houses with some up to 1.5m high above the surrounding ground level. An irregular shaped ditched enclosure with sides of approximately 50m long and which may represent the site of a moated manor house, is located on the north side of the site, just to the south of Perrymoor Brook. The traces of a bank which are visible around the perimeter of the fields in which the earthworks lie may be the remains of the village boundary bank although this has in places become partly obscured by thick hedges and modern drainage systems. There are several documentary references to the settlement; the earliest dates from the 11th century and suggests that the settlement was known as Sandford at that time and had an estimated population of 40 to 45 people. The Domesday Book of 1086 records the land on which the village stands as being owned by Roger de Corcelle. It is also mentioned in a list of villages from the 13th century and again in the 14th century. It is not known exactly why the settlement declined after this but it is likely to have been for economic reasons rather than as a result of the Black Death. All fencing and fence posts, and all gates and gate posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all 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.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Aston, M A, Brief Notes on the History of Sandford in Wembdon (in SMR file), (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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