Horsey medieval settlement immediately north of Board's Farm


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


Ordnance survey map of Horsey medieval settlement immediately north of Board's 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 17-Oct-2019 at 09:06:21.


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

Sedgemoor (District Authority)
Bridgwater Without
National Grid Reference:
ST 31929 39272

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.

Horsey medieval settlement immediately north of Board's Farm is represented by well defined earthworks which mark the locations of houses, the site of a chapel and other village features. The site displays evidence of medieval agricultural activity which is associated with the settlement and its relationship with the settlement is an important factor in understanding the site, which will retain evidence of the lives of the inhabitants of the village and their farming practices.


The monument includes part of the medieval settlement of Horsey and associated medieval fields, located on Horsey Level at the western edge of the Somerset Levels. The settlement survives as well defined earthworks which are situated in Chapel Cleeve, a rectangular field raised slightly above the surrounding ground level, it is known to extend to the west and south west to include examples of medieval cultivation practices and further settlement features seen in aerial photographs. The earthworks located in Chapel Cleeve represent the sites of houses, the site of a chapel and other village features including streets and lanes which are visible as hollow ways. A hollow way, 6m wide and between 1m and 1.5m deep, which follows a north to south alignment before turning eastwards, is located on the west side of the site. A shallow depression approximately 28m across and located adjacent to the west side of the hollow way marks the probable site of a chapel. A partial excavation in 1903 revealed the foundations of a building at a depth of just under 1m below the ground level of probable 13th century date. The walls are between 1m and 1.6m thick and enclose an interior of approximately 14m by 5m. Medieval green glazed tiles were also recovered. A platform on the north side of the site approximately 22m long, 12m wide and raised about 1.5m high above the surrounding ground level appears to be the site of a small building. Further indications of settlement remains are located in the areas to the south and south west of the earthworks. These features are visible on aerial photographs from which a series of rectangular fields can be seen divided by low banks. In the area immediately to the north of Board's Farm the sites of further building plots and additional village features such as ponds, pits and small enclosures are also visible. Unglazed 14th century pottery and the wall foundation trench of an 18th century cottage have been recorded from this location. The settlement of Horsey is known to date from at least the time of the Domesday Book of 1086 when Rademer held it of Walter, the lord of Bridgwater.

A number of features are excluded from the scheduling; these are all fencing and fence posts, all gates and gate posts, all telegraph poles, the stone water trough located in the enclosed field on the north side of the site, and the iron water tank near to the track on the east side of the site. The ground beneath all these features is, however, 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:


Books and journals
Powell, A H, 'Proceedings Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society' in Horsey Chapel, near Bridgwater, , Vol. 52, (1906), 155-157
14-15, Held by Somerset SMR, DAP/SA, (1989)


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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