MEM24460 - Possible medieval boundary ditch south of St George's Church (Monument)

Summary

A watching brief recorded the northern side of a large east to west aligned ditch. Finds included occasional charcoal and abraded animal bone but provided no dating evidence. It was suggested that it may have formed the original southern boundary of Dunster Priory.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A watching brief in December 2017 recorded the northern side of a possible large east to west aligned linear feature (cut feature [112]), containing a single visible fill of grey-brown silty-clay. Finds included occasional charcoal and abraded animal bone but provided no dating evidence. One feature that may form a component of the early monastic plan was probable ditch [112] at the southern limit of the excavation and seemingly parallel to modern Church Street. Medieval monastic enclosures were usually surrounded by a substantial bank and ditch, termed Vallum Monasterii, which served both as a physical deterrent and defence and as a symbolic division between the religious community and the surrounding secular settlement. The full extent of feature [112] could not be determined during this investigation and no associated dating evidence was present but a sufficient extent of the profile was visible to characterise it as a ditch and if it is to be accepted that the line of the street respects that of the principal western route into the Saxon and medieval settlement and always formed the limit of the priory it seems highly likely that the feature affirmed part of this southern boundary and forms part of the wider circuit of early ‘defences’. The homogenous and clean nature of the single fill seems to suggest deliberate infilling of [112] at a relatively early date possibly to be replaced by a wall at the street frontage. [1]

Sources/Archives (1)

  • <1> Report: Brigers, J.L.. 2018. The Parish Church of St George, Dunster, Somerset: A watching brief in the churchyard. 6, 7 (Plate 1), 16-7.

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred SS 9904 4363 (2m by 2m)
Map sheet SS94SE
Civil Parish DUNSTER, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

Finds (2)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (1)

External Links (0)

Other Statuses/References

  • None recorded

Record last edited

Aug 15 2018 10:50AM

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