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Historic England Research Records

Cheddar Palace

Hob Uid: 194633
Location :
Somerset
Sedgemoor
Cheddar
Grid Ref : ST4574053150
Summary : Saxon royal palace dating from the mid 10th century and given to the Dean and Chapter of Wells in the early 13th century. Ruins of a chapel dedicated to St Columbanus survive. Excavations in 1960-62 found this was the latest of three chapels, the earliest dated to the 10th century and was replaced in the 11th century and rebuilt in the late 13th or early 14th century. The chapel was converted into a house during the 17th century and remained in use until the early 20th century. The earliest chapel overlay a Long Hall which was associated with two buildings to the west and southwest. This hall was replaced by the West Hall during the 10th century. It was rebuilt in the 11th and 12th century. Another hall, East Hall was built to the east of the west hall in the 12th century. This was rebuilt in the 13th and 14th century. Excavations have also located a ditch containing Roman pottery.
More information : [ST 45745315] A royal palace at Cheddar is known to have existed from the mid 10th cent. to the early 13th cent., when it was given to the dean and chapter of Wells. Near Manor Farm are the ruins of a chapel dedicated to St. Columbanus which was the subject of an Inquisition in 1321 - to determine whether it was a royal free chapel. This chapel and its vicinity were excavated in 1960-2, prior to the building of a school.

The chapel proved to be the third on the same site. The original small 10th cent. chapel was replaced by a larger building in the 11th cent. and was probably finally rebuilt in the late 13th or early 14th cents. This last was converted into a dwelling in the 17th cent. and continued in use until the early 20th cent.

The earliest chapel overlay a Long Hall dating from before the 10th cent. It was orientated north-south and measured 78 by 20 ft. Apparently of the same period were two minor buildings to the west and south-west of the Long Hall.

In the 10th cent. the Long Hall was replaced by a hall, known as the West Hall. It was orientated east-west and measured 60 by 30 ft. Minor buildings of the same period included a corn mill. The West hall was rebuilt in the 11th and again in the 12th cent.

A larger hall, known as the East Hall, was built east of the West Hall in the 12th cent. It was orientated east-west and was subsequently rebuilt in the 13th and again in the 14th cent. (1)

The ruined chapel survives. The outlines of the Long, West and East Halls, together with the corn mill and other minor buildings are marked by small pillars and tiles (See GPs. AO/65/247/7 & 8).

Surveyed at 1:2500. (2)

ST45SE24 "...extensive remains of the Saxon palace at Cheddar, where Edmund, Eadwig and Edgar met their Witan in 941, 956 and 968. (3)

Account, summaries, plans and illustrations; much as 1 above, except that the corn-mill has become a fowl-house. (see Illusts). (4-5)

Full report - historical background, excavations, detailed description. (6)

Chapel ruins, listed grade II. (7)

Scheduled. (8)

ST 458531: An evaluation and watching brief West and South of the Palace located no traces of Saxon or Medieval material. A ditch was found containing Romano-British pottery. (9)

History of the palace. (10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Medieval archaeology : journal of the Society for Medieval Archaeology
Source details :
Page(s) : 53-66
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 6-7, 1962-63
Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 GHP 30-MAR-66
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 16-Dec-99
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 2 : the Middle Ages
Source details :
Page(s) : 907-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Medieval sites in the Mendip, Cotswold, Wye Valley and Bristol Region
Source details :
Page(s) : 11-Dec
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : no.3
Source Number : 4
Source : Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, Bath
Source details : (P Rahtz)
Page(s) : 99-112
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 108, 1964
Source Number : 5
Source : The archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England
Source details : (P Rahtz)
Page(s) : 67, 415
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : The Saxon and medieval palaces at Cheddar : excavations 1960-62
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 65
Source Number : 7
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Sedgemoor, 29-JAN-1985
Page(s) : 69
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : County list of Scheduled Ancient Monuments : December 1987
Source details : Somerset
Page(s) : 15
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, Bath
Source details : (G Wait)
Page(s) : 216
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 131, 1987
Source Number : 9a
Source : Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, Bath
Source details : (R A Croft)
Page(s) : 221
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 132, 1988

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Ditch
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : C10
Monument End Date : 999
Monument Start Date : 900
Monument Type : Royal Chapel, Royal Palace
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Dating from mid C10
Monument End Date : 966
Monument Start Date : 933
Monument Type : Royal Palace
Evidence : Ruined Building, Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt in C12
Monument End Date : 1199
Monument Start Date : 1100
Monument Type : Royal Palace
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Early C13
Monument End Date : 1232
Monument Start Date : 1200
Monument Type : Bishops Palace
Evidence : Ruined Building, Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt in C13
Monument End Date : 1299
Monument Start Date : 1200
Monument Type : Bishops Palace
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt late C13/early C14
Monument End Date : 1332
Monument Start Date : 1267
Monument Type : Chapel
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt in C14
Monument End Date : 1399
Monument Start Date : 1300
Monument Type : Bishops Palace
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Converted in C17
Monument End Date : 1699
Monument Start Date : 1600
Monument Type : House
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : In use until early C20
Monument End Date : 1932
Monument Start Date : 1901
Monument Type : House
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 1/17/79
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SO 305
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 29673
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 268795
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1017290
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1171737
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : ST 45 SE 24
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, CHEDDAR ROYAL PALACE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1960-01-01
End Date : 1962-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON ST 45 SE 24
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1966-03-30
End Date : 1966-03-30
Associated Activities : Primary, KINGS OF WESSEX SCHOOL, CHEDDAR
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1987-01-01
End Date : 1987-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, KINGS OF WESSEX SCHOOL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1988-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, KINGS OF WESSEX SCHOOL, CHEDDAR
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1991-01-01
End Date : 1991-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, KINGS OF WESSEX SCHOOL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE KINGS OF WESSEX ACADEMY
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2015-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE KINGS OF WESSEX ACADEMY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2015-01-01
End Date : 2016-12-31