Horsey medieval settlement immediately north of Board's Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1020438
Date first listed: 28-Aug-2001
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This copy shows the entry on 24-Mar-2019 at 23:26:44.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Sedgemoor (District Authority)
Parish: 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
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
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: 33729
Legacy System: RSM
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