Ancient Monuments

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Earthworks south of Tadhill Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Stoke St Michael, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.2106 / 51°12'38"N

Longitude: -2.4647 / 2°27'52"W

OS Eastings: 367633.819908

OS Northings: 145810.828868

OS Grid: ST676458

Mapcode National: GBR MX.41BZ

Mapcode Global: VH89W.7TCV

Entry Name: Earthworks S of Tadhill Farm

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1962

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006169

English Heritage Legacy ID: SO 335

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Stoke St Michael

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


Earthworks of an Iron Age defended settlement 280m south of Upper Tadhill Farm.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 August 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement situated on a north east facing slope within the Mendip Hills overlooking the valleys of several un-named streams. The settlement survives as a roughly oval enclosure measuring approximately 68m long by 50m wide defined by a continuous ditch with partial counterscarp and inner banks and a simple causewayed gap entrance to the east. The western side of the enclosure has a roughly rectangular raised platform with traces of a bank around three of its sides and the eastern portion is at a lower level with a substantial northern bank which runs up and over the raised platform. The southern enclosure bank is lower and cut by a later roughly circular feature. To the east beyond the rampart are a track and a possible yard area. Partial excavations in 1961 revealed a silted V-shaped ditch cut into the bedrock in places with a second partially silted up U-shaped ditch beneath the bank. Charcoal fragments and flint objects were scattered throughout both ditch fills. Aerial photographs reveal that part of the interior also contains ridge and furrow but since this continues beyond the earthworks it appears to post date the enclosure. It is known locally as ‘Dinies Camp’. It was recorded by Colt-Hoare in the 19th century. Documentary references include a mention in the 1515 survey of Glastonbury Abbey holdings where it is referred to as ‘Warehanenbergh’ and the same name appears on the Mells charter of 942.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

During the Iron Age a variety of different types of settlement were constructed and occupied in south western England. At the top of the settlement hierarchy were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition to these a group of smaller sites, known as defended settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others in less prominent positions. They are generally smaller than the hillforts, sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha. The enclosing defences were of earthen construction. Univallate sites have a single bank and ditch, multivallate sites more than one. At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Where excavated, evidence of stone- or timber-built houses has been found within the enclosures, which, in contrast to the hillfort sites, would have been occupied by small communities, perhaps no more than a single family group. Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element of the settlement pattern, particularly in the upland areas of south western England, and are integral to any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during this period. The Iron Age defended settlement 280m south of Upper Tadhill Farm survives comparatively well with complex earthworks and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, date, longevity, possible re-use, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, territorial and strategic significance and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-200178

Source: Historic England

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