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

A Scheduled Monument in Wembdon, Somerset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1344 / 51°8'3"N

Longitude: -3.0451 / 3°2'42"W

OS Eastings: 326970.425423

OS Northings: 137753.695107

OS Grid: ST269377

Mapcode National: GBR M3.8Y2S

Mapcode Global: VH7DH.5RJ7

Entry Name: Medieval settlement 160m south and 240m south west of Sandford Farm

Scheduled Date: 14 August 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020016

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33728

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Wembdon

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Details

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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Aston, M A, Brief Notes on the History of Sandford in Wembdon (in SMR file), (1978)

Source: Historic England

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