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Somerset Historic Environment Record

23442

Site Name: Tedbury Camp, Elm
SCHEDULED MONUMENT: Tedbury camp [No:369]
Civil Parish: Great Elm, Mells
Comprises:
PRN 16914Watching Brief (2002), Tedbury Camp, Mells
Grid Ref: ST 744 488 (ST 74 NW)
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Image: Image of HER 23442 - Quarried section through rampart. Photo by Somerset County Council
  HER 23442 - Quarried section through rampart. Photo by Somerset County Council

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]

Details:

Promontory fort of c60 acres between Mells Stream and Fordbury Water. {1}

Defences apparently consisted of two parallel banks running NW-SE with a central entrance. About 100 yards of the outer bank remains at the SE end, and 160 yards at the NW end. The inner bank, largely complete, is 10-15ft high with remains of a 4-6ft thick dry stone wall running for a considerable distance from the SE end where there are also traces of a third bank. There is a rectangular earthwork at the outer flank of the NW end. Near the centre of the inner bank a fragment of earthwork, 11ft high, extends into the interior of the camp. {3}

Basically as described. There is one gap in the rampart at the suggested central entrance. A more likely location would be at the S terminal (now largely quarried away) where the vestiges of a third rampart remain. The dry stone wall along the inner rampart is now surveyable in only two places, and is probably a boundary wall of the same character as that which encloses the wood within the camp. The small rectangular earthwork at the NW end is a platform of natural rock. A rotary quern was found between 1939-45 when overburden was being cleared from the E end of the camp is in a nearby garden. {4}

Earthworks consist of an inner bank 3.5m high rising from a slight ditch with a second bank surviving on the N and S ends, where the defences are cut by a forestry road. The outer work extant in 1836 is now destroyed. The inner rampart is surmounted by a drystone wall, normally constructed on the rear slope of the bank. The entrance was probably in the centre of the defences where the ends of the inner rampart form an inturn flanking a narrow passageway. A second gap to the N is probably the result of quarrying, and close to the N end a track and associated embanked field boundary cut through the abraded inner and outer banks. {5}

A pot of Roman coins "mostly Constantine Junior" was dug up at Tedbury in 1691. {6}

References:

1 Mention - Page, W. Victoria History of the County of Somerset.  Vol. 2 (1911), 476.
2 Sketch plan - Page, W. Victoria History of the County of Somerset.  Vol. 2 (1911), 476.
3 Description - Phelps, W. History of Somersetshire.  (1839), 104-5.
4 Detailed records - Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division record card. Record ID: ST 74 NW 1 (1964) Location: HER files
5 Description - Burrow, I. Hillfort and Hilltop Settlement in the First to Eighth Centuries AD.  (1981), 205-6. British Archaeological Reports 91.
6 Historical reference - Stukeley, W. Itinerarium Curiosum.  (1776), 149.
7 Description - The Antiquities of Mells, Elm and Buckland in 1730. Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society.  27 (1983), 89-91
8 Correspondence - Wilkins, JC to Somerset County Council Historic Environment Record. (December 1994) with photos. Location: HER files.
9 Photographs - Michael McGarvie. (May 1994) 3 colour prints. Location: HER files.

Record created in May 1985

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