MSO8366 - Upton deserted medieval settlement (Monument)


An alleged deserted medieval settlement, south of the ruin of St James's Church at Upton Farm, has not been confirmed from aerial photographs or field evidence. It may be a misinterpretation of the post-medieval field gutter system (MMO958).

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Upton is given as one of the known DMV sites of Somerset and shown on a distribution map at approx SS 980295, where there is an obvious site, with ruined church, at Upton Farm. (But nothing seems to have been written about this, and the information was apparently given orally by M Aston. OS air photos of 1967 show no desertion markings round Upton Farm, but it and its various outbuildings, yards and crofts are quite extensive enough to overlie a small DMV.) [1] Earthworks south of the church at Upton suggest a formerly larger settlement. The tithe map does not help with this suggestion. (Although Aston does not specify which church at Upton, it would seem he is referring to the remains of St James (SS 92 NE 7). The village of Upton is shown at this location on OS 1" 1809 but on OS 1:10000 1975 the name seems to have been transferred to a collection of buildings on the road at SS 996289.) [2] A systematic survey of all available aerial photographs found no Medieval settlement features. An extensive Post Medieval water meadow (which is described in SS 92 NE 43) is situated to the south of the location of the possible medieval settlement and these could be the earthworks which authority 2 mentions as being `south of the church'. [3] There is no field evidence of desertion around the medieval church of St James. It seems most probable that the gutter system (MMO958) has been misinterpreted as settlement earthworks. [4]

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Monograph: Jayne Woodhouse. 1976. Barrow Mead, Bath, 1964 : excavation of a medieval peasant house 28 .
  • <2> Serial: Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 1851-. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. M Aston Vol No. - 127, 1983 Page Nos. - 100.
  • <3> Verbal communication: RCHME Aerial Photographic Interpreters Comments (in DESCRIPTION above) . Helen Winton/19-MAY-1998/Brendon Hills Mapping Project.
  • <4> Collection: RCHME: Brendon Hills Mapping Project, SS92NE.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Field Investigators Comment. R Wilson-North 1 July 1998 RCHME Field Investigation.



Grid reference Centred SS 980 292 (164m by 86m)
Map sheet SS92NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO188
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 92 NE11
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36517
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 34149

Record last edited

Dec 13 2012 1:52PM


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