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Somerset Historic Environment Record


Site Name: Glastonbury Lake Village, Godney
SCHEDULED MONUMENT: Glastonbury lake village [No:406]
Civil Parish: Godney
PRN 28534Excavation (1968-1969), Glastonbury Lake Village, Godney
PRN 28535Evaluation (2003), Glastonbury Lake Village, Godney
PRN 30211Preservation assessment and monitoring (2008-2010), Glastonbury Lake Village, Godney
PRN 30897Earthwork survey (2011), Glastonbury Lake Village, Godney
PRN 30974Excavation (1892-1907), Glastonbury Lake Village, Godney
PRN 30975Excavation (1984), Glastonbury Lake Village, Godney
PRN 32571Evaluation (2014), Glastonbury Lake Village, Godney
Grid Ref: ST 493 408 (ST 44 SE)
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Image: Image of HER 23637 - Photo by Somerset County Council (25 July 1995)
  HER 23637 - Photo by Somerset County Council (25 July 1995)

Public access:

The public accessibility of this site is unknown but it should be visible from a public right of way. Please assume that the site is private property. [Information last updated on 16 December 2002]


The HER is currently being transferred to a new system. Please ask about this changed entry. {0}

Glastonbury lake village covers an area of 400ft N-S x 300 ft E-W. It was excavated by Bulleid and Gray from 1892-1908 and was found to have consisted of a timber and bruchwood platform resting on peat, surmounted by clay-flored wattle and daub huts, indicated by low mounds. The foundations of at least sixty mostly circular huts of 14 ft - 40 ft diameter were examined. There was also evidence of rectangular huts, not in situ, believed to be earlier. The perimter of each of the circular huts was bounded by vertical piles driven into the substructure, and each contained a central clay hearth, often much rebuilt. Stone paths were found connecting various huts whilst the whole village was surrounded by a wooden palisade (from one to four posts deep), and on the east side had a causeway 158 ft long leading to a timber landing stage, with a stone embankment nearby. The finds, which were extremely numerous, represented all aspects of village life eg weaving, fishing, agriculture, metallurgy, personal adornment etc. An enormous amount of pottery was found, but currency was only represented by two iron currency bars and part of a tin coin of 100 - 75 BC. A flint industry, probably contemporary, was noted. Dug-out boats were found in and near the village, and just outside the paslisade a fine bead-rimmed bronze bowl. Two neolithic stone axes were also found, probably brought to the site in the Iron Age. Romano-British material consisting of pottery and metal objects was found overlying the site. Most of the finds are in Taunton and Glastonbury museums. There are many hummocks in the area of the lake village but they cannot accurately be interpreted. The northern edge of the settlement is marked out by stones. {1}

Hawkes dates this village to the South West Province third B of the Iron Age, and remarks that it has become a nearly complete La Tene III culture. {2}

The field is rather uneven and is used for pasture. White gate with notice "British Lake Village" at the entrance to the site. N side of site marked by stones marked "G.A.S." (Glastonbury Antiquarian Society). Other sides marked by rhynes. {4}

Area stable and not disturbed by farming. Uneven field of rough pasture. White gate is still in situ although now decrepit, and 'British Lake Village' sign is no longer visible. Concrete bollards on N edge of site still visible. Other sides bounded by ditches along roads. {7}

A tooth and several pieces of clay were recovered from the surface of a mole hill on a mound in March 1983. {8}

The Glastonbury Bowl, a late Iron Age bowl formed from two sheets of bronze that was excavated just outside of Glastonbury Lake Village, underwent analysis and metallography in c. 2010. The way the bowl was manufactured was examined, as well as the composition of its alloys. {10}

Between 2008-2010, a three year research project was undertaken in order to assess in situ preservation at Glastonbury Lake Village (see PRN 30211). {11}


0 Compiler comment - Webster, CJ (Chris). Somerset Historic Environment Record (12/02/2016). Location: Verbal, electronic or direct entry, no source retained.
1 Detailed records - Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division record card. Record ID: ST 44 SE 5 (1978) Location: HER files.
2 Mention - Hawkes, C. The ABC of the British Iron Age. Antiquity  52 (1959), 170-182 (page 178, 182) Copy available in SANHS library at Somerset Heritage Centre.
3 Description - Tratman, EK. The Glastonbury Lake Village: a reconsideration. Proceedings of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society  12(2) (1970), 143-167. Copy available in SANHS library at Somerset Heritage Centre.. Available online.
4 Detailed records - Entry found in HER database with no supporting documentation - entry just said 'in SMR file' where nothing was found. This is believed to have been a note that was typed up and then discarded. Location: Unknown or non-existant.
5 Description - Clark, DL. A provisional model of an Iron-Age society and its settlement system. In Clarke, DL. Models in Archaeology.  (1982) at 801-869.
6 Description - Coles, J, Goodall, A and Minnitt, S. Arthur Bulleid and the Glastonbury Lake Village 1892-1992.  (1992)
7 Site visit report - Graham, A [Alan]. English Heritage Field Monument Warden (25/11/1998) Location: HER files.
8 Site visit report - Bedford, DM. Somerset Levels Project (24/3/1983)
9 Detailed records - Coles, J and Minnitt, S. Industrious and Fairly Civilized: The Glastonbury Lake Village.  (1995) Copy held in HER collections.
10 Detailed records - Northover, P. Analysis and Metallography of the Glastonbury Bowl.  (c. 2010) Location: HER files
11 Detailed records - Jones, L. In Situ Preservation Research and Monitoring in the Somerset Levels: An Interim Report. Archaeology in the Severn Estuary  20 (2009), 65-79 Copy available in HER files under PRN 30211.

Record created in June 1985

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