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Historic England Research Records

Down End Earthworks

Hob Uid: 192333
Location :
Somerset
Sedgemoor
Puriton
Grid Ref : ST3092041350
Summary : A Medieval Motte and Bailey site has been identified as earthworks. The siteis located is located on Chisley Mount or Chidley Mount (now called Bally Field) east of Down End village. The earthworks consist of a motte and two baileys on its northern side. The motte has been formed by scarping the western end of a natural ridge where it terminates on low, level ground. Its eastern side, in private gardens, is poorly defined and several pits have been dug into the top. The single bank of the inner bailey, and the twin banks of the outer bailey, have been constructed on level ground, not by scarping the slope. The banks of the inner and outer bailey end abruptly on the west. Excavations in 1908 recovered Norman and later pottery and iron objects. This is a Scheduled monument.
More information : [ST 30924135] MOTTE AND BAILEYS [G.T.] (1)

At 'Bally Field', Downsend, Puriton, is a motte, with baileys, once known as Chisley or Chidley Mount. The hill has been scarped and trenched to form baileys with natural obstacles completing their defences. There are early references to potsherds, including Samian ware, and Roman coins being found here (3). Excavations by Chater and Major in 1908 (5) found Norman and later pottery and iron objects. The site of a building, possibly a modern cow-shed, on a platform halfway up the motte, was marked by tiles but no other signs. No evidence of Roman remains, or any form of building of stone or timber, was found. The excavators appear to have had doubts as to the defensive nature of the earthworks. The castle would have belonged to the De Columbers. (2-5)

This is a motte with two baileys on its northern side. The motte has been formed by scraping the western end of a natural
ridge where it terminates on low, level,ground. Its eastern side, in private gardens, is poorly defined and several pits have been dug into the top. The single bank of the inner bailey, and the twin banks of the outer bailey, have been constructed on level ground, not by scarping the slope. These banks end abruptly on the west, with no indication that they ever continued along this side which was possibly an area of marsh. Resurveyed at 1:2500. See G.Ps. AO/64/269/4-7, and air photographs. A 12th century rim sherd from the 1905 excavation is in Taunton Castle Museum, Acc.No. A 3104. (6)

A plan and description text are present. (7)

ST 309414: Down End Earthworks. SAM no 359. (8)

Scheduled, RSM Number 33714. (9)

The motte and bailey referred to above (1-9) has been mapped from aerial photographs and is as described above. (10-11)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1961
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Source Number : 2
Source : The Victoria history Somerset, volume two
Source details :
Page(s) : 518
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Source Number : 8
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : DOE SAMs Somerset 31-Dec-1987 16
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Source Number : 9
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Schedule amendment 03-JUL-2000
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Source Number : 10
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF/CPE/UK/1944 2188-2189 23-JAN-1947
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Source Number : 11
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF/58/1421 0210-0211 02-APR-1954
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Source Number : 3
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Somerset: volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 360
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Source Number : 3a
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Aubrey MS 15, f 122 Bodleian
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Source Number : 3b
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Skinner Add MSS 33716, f 105 Brit Mus
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Source Number : 4
Source : Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, Bath
Source details :
Page(s) : 35
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Vol(s) : 23, 1877
Source Number : 5
Source : Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, Bath
Source details : AG Chater & AF Major
Page(s) : 162
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Vol(s) : 55, 1910
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 GHP 24-SEP-64
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Source Number : 6c
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : RAF CPE/UK/1924/4014-5 dated Jan 16 1947
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Source Number : 7
Source : Ancient earthworks and camps of Somerset
Source details : Published 1924.
Page(s) : 124-5
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 1/42/07
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SO 359
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 33714
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 11447
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : ST 34 SW 6
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, CHISLEY MOUNT, DOWNEND
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1908-01-01
End Date : 1908-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON ST 34 SW 6
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1964-09-24
End Date : 1964-09-24
Associated Activities : Primary, INVESTIGATION BY RCHME/EH ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-11-14
End Date : 1995-11-14
Associated Activities : Primary, GLOUCESTERSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL: SEVERN ESTUARY NMP, RAPID COASTAL ZONE ASSESSMENT SURVEY
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2006-04-10
End Date : 2008-11-01