MSO9411 - Medieval and post-medieval shambles, High Street, Dunster (Monument)


The site of the medieval shambles, along the centre of the wide main street of Dunster, removed in 1825 due to its dilapidated state.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

[SS 9915 4380] Site of Shambles [NR] [1, 8] Not many years ago the wide main street of Dunster was divided down the middle by a row of sheds or shambles, but becoming derelict they were removed. [2] The site of the shambles is now used as a car park. [3] All the timber houses and shambles in the middle of the main street, except the Yarn Market (MSO9413) were pulled down in 1825, a new market house having been built. [4] Additional bibliography. [5,6] The site is mentioned in Dunster's Conservation Area character appraisal (2002), which states "The High Street, originally known as Chepyng Strete had a central range of buildings - The Shambles - alongside the Yarn Market, which are thought to have been demolished in the 1820s." [7] A range of open stalls had been built in the centre of North Street by 1423. Stall users paid dues to the bailiffs "while the keepers of the Shambles with the other officers helped regulate the business of the market." It was pulled down in 1825 due to its dilapidated state. [8] An engraving by Thomas Higham from a drawing by J Buckler in 1821 shows the main street and castle in Dunster. This includes a view of the Shambles as it stood at this time. This was a single storey open sided timber framed range that ran down the centre of the street from the Yarn Market, terminating at and abutting a building at the southern end. It had a low pitched, tiled or slated roof. [9] A map dating from 1790 depicts the location of the Shambles. [10] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [11] The market at Dunster is discussed in the 2018 Conservation Area Appraisal. [12]

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. Various. Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) . OS 25" 1929.
  • <2> Monograph: Barrett, C.R.B. 1894. Somerset Highways, Byways and Waterways. p324.
  • <3> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 10 June 1965.
  • <4> Article in serial: Maxwell Lyte, H.C.. 1880. Dunster and its Lords. The Archaeological Journal. 37. Parts 1 to 4, pp57-93, 155-179, 271-293, 395-405. 291, 403.
  • <5> Monograph: Collinson, J.. 1791 (2006). The History and Antiquities of Somerset. Archive CD Books Ltd. 15.
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1929. County Series, 3rd Edition 25 inch map. 1:25,000.
  • <7> Report: Fisher, J.. 2002. Dunster Conservation Area Character Appraisal. Exmoor National Park Authority. p9.
  • <8> Monograph: Binding, H.. Discovering Dunster. The Exmoor Press. p6, 12.
  • <9> Monograph: Savage, J.. 1830. A History of the Hundred of Carhampton. Illustration in inside front cover.
  • <10>XY Map: Unknown. 1790. Map of Dunster. 5 chains: 1 inch. [Mapped feature: #39100 ]
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36860, Extant 19 May 2022.
  • <12> Report: Pratt, N. and Thurlow, T.. 2018. Dunster Conservation Area: appraisal document. Exmoor National Park Authority. p 5, 7.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12016
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE5
  • National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36860
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34815



Grid reference Centred SS 9915 4376 (20m by 77m)
Map sheet SS94SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

Aug 24 2022 3:48PM


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