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Somerset Historic Environment Record


Site Name: Deserted medieval settlement and associated fields, Lytes Cary, Charlton Mackrell
SCHEDULED MONUMENT: Deserted medieval settlement and associated fields, Lytes Cary [No:24013]
Civil Parish: Charlton Mackrell
PRN 16986Watching Brief (2004), Lytes Cary, Charlton Mackrell
PRN 28468Geophysical survey (2009), Lytes Cary, Charlton Mackrell
Grid Ref: ST 531 265 (ST 52 NW)
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Image: Image of HER 53683 - Photo by West Air Photography (1978)
  HER 53683 - Photo by West Air Photography (1978)

Public access:

The public accessibility of this site is unknown or has not been checked. Please ask locally and do not visit without permission. [Information last updated on 21 May 2003]


Excellent group of well preserved earthworks, probably a DMV with associated closes and paddocks. A large disturbed area at the NW corner of the field may be the site of a manor house. S of this along the E side of the present road are a series of house platforms with linear banks and ditches running E-W between them. The earthworks end at the summit on the S (ST53102635) with slight traces of ridge and furrow to the S. On the E the earthworks extend as far as the house at Lytes Cary, which has ridge and furrow to the N and E of it. {1}

A complex series of small closes, associated with the deserted settlement of Tucker's Cary, survive within Lytes Cary park. The slight traces of small rectangular plots particularly at the south are very reminiscent of 'Celtic' fields and there are indications of medieval ridge and furrow overlying the whole system. Some recent agricultural infilling of some of the ditches, as a result of modern road building has taken place at the southern site of this otherwise impressive series of remains. {2}

Substantial earthworks on the site of the former medieval manor of Tucker's Cary survive in the park of Lytes Cary, itself possibly a later siting of the manor. Quarrying in the north-west corner of the park has partly obscured the detail of the settlement remains, but a series of terraced house-platforms survive along the roadside. The whole is associated with medieval closes and other enclosures. {3}

Surveyed by National Trust in 1978. {4}

AP shows earthworks and also damage caused by construction of access road. {5}

Banks, hollows and scarps 0.2-0.7m high forming fields, paddocks and closes, with hollow ways and drove ways, and a number of building platforms. More building platforms are visible on AP. On the NW are the remains in a quarried area of perhaps the former manor of Tucker's Cary. Five distinct blocks of fields, with a droveway leading to a possible farm yard or mill site in the middle of these on the east. The field block on the SW contains a flight of small, square lynchetted fields reminiscent of prehistoric fields. This area is associated with oblong building platforms mainly visible on APs. The top part has been recently ploughed and this has been drawn to the attention of the National Trust. On the W, adjoining the road, is a large stone-banked enclosure marked on the 1809 tithe map. The map shows the area across the road as Lower Lytes Cary, and the area of the present House as Higher Lytes Cary, indicating origins as a single village. {6}

Monument scheduled 22/3/1994. {8}

Majority of scheduled area stable under parkland with scattered mature trees, used for sheep grazing only. Number of areas of recent tree planting include an L-shaped area adjacent to house on NE corner of monument; two belts along N and S sides of small paddock in SE part of monument; several clumps on western side and row along edge of road on N and E sides of monument. No evidence of erosion. Rubbish, including large heap of soil, dumped in SW corner of small paddock. Earthworks extending S of parkland into improved grass field to W of small paddock appear flattened by ploughing in past. {9}

Since the previous visit two large gateposts have been concreted into holes, dug in the SE corner of the parkland adjacent to the pond in the NW corner of the small paddock. Measures to protect scheduled monument to S of parkland in improved field of grass, by moving field boundary fence and for removal of spoil mound and dumped rubbish in SW corner of small paddock have been proposed. {10}


1 Site visit report - Burrow, I [Ian]. Somerset County Council. (26/2/1979) Report location: HER files
2 Detailed records - National Trust Archaeological Sites Record card. (24/4/1980) Location: HER files
3 Detailed records - National Trust Archaeological Sites Record card. (24/4/1980) Location: HER files
4 Measured plan - Thackray, D National Trust. Lytes Cary Park 1:2500 earthwork survey. (1978) Drawing HBC 5/23/1. Location: HER collections.
5 Aerial photographs - West Air Photography CNJ 2230.3. (c.1978) Location: HER files.
6 Detailed records - Preece, A. Deserted medieval settlement and fieldscape, Lytes Cary.  (1993) unpublished Monuments Protection Programme fieldwork report for English Heritage. Location: HER files
7 Map - Charlton Adam, Charlton Mackrell. Map for the Inclosure Award..  (1809) Somerset Record Office. Reference: Q/RDE/92.
8 Correspondence - English Heritage to Somerset County Council. (30/3/1994) Location: HER files
9 Site visit report - Graham, A [Alan]. English Heritage Field Monument Warden. (23/2/1999) Report location: HER files
10 Site visit report - Graham, A [Alan]. English Heritage Field Monument Warden. (18/3/1999) Report location: HER files

Record created in October 1984

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