Medieval settlement 850m north of St Mary's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020183

Date first listed: 27-Jan-1960

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Feb-2002


Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement 850m north of St Mary's Church
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. 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 - 1020183 .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 21-Jan-2019 at 03:27:53.


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

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Charminster

National Grid Reference: SY 67920 93547


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

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 earthwork remains of the medieval settlement and adjacent strip lynchet 850m north of St Mary's church are well-preserved and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to medieval agriculture, the economy of the settlement's inhabitants and the environment in which they lived.


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


The monument includes the earthwork remains of a medieval settlement situated on a steep west facing slope on the eastern side of the Cerne valley. The site is almost certainly the former farmstead of Charlton, one of a number of settlements recorded as Cerne in the Domesday Book, each with an associated strip of land running from the river bank north east up to the chalk. It is not listed in any of the 14th century Subsidy Rolls, but in 1662 a population of one household is listed at Charlton Farm. The farmstead is situated within a rectangular enclosure, surrounded on the north, south and east sides by a bank about 4m wide and up to 1.5m high externally, 0.4m internally, with an external ditch up to 2m wide and 0.5m deep. The interior is divided by banks and ditches into five rectangular enclosures. In the north western enclosure are two platforms terraced into the base of the slope, which may be the sites of buildings. The western side of the site lies on the flat ground of the valley floor at the base of the slope; in this area two patches of cobbling have been exposed by ploughing together with pottery of 13th and 14th century date. Part of a medieval strip lynchet, up to 3m wide and 2m high, lying adjacent to the eastern side of the enclosure, is included in the scheduling. This forms part of a series of strip lynchets which extend along the valley, to the north of the settlement and represent evidence for farming practices contemporary with the settlement. Only the extant example is included in the scheduling, the remainder having been reduced by cultivation and no longer clearly defined. All fence posts 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. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 33551

Legacy System: RSM


Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset, (1970)

End of official listing