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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 197483

Hob Uid: 197483
Location :
Chewton Mendip
Grid Ref : ST5760051600
Summary : Romano-British lead-working settlement excavated at Rookery Farm. The settlement was first identified in 1956 when a pit containing lead pits inscribed with "Vespasian" was found. Additional excavations have identified hut floors and finds including pottery, a fibula, and a glass bead. Occupation ranged from the 1st to 4th century. Prehistoric flint flakes and Medieval pottery were also recovered.
More information : ST 576514 Four Roman pigs of lead in good condition
and inscribed 'Vespasian', were found on Rookery Farm, near
Green Ore, in 1956.

Ploughing had disturbed one pig, and subsequent excavation
revealed that four in all had been placed in a 3ft. pit which
had then been filled in and covered by a small cairn. in the
bottom of the pit were sherds of red-ware bowl, compared by
Corder with Hawkes 'Camulodunum, 218c!, and therefore 1st c.
and contemporary with Vespasian.

There was nothing in the immediate vicinity of the pit
suggesting hearths or industry, but the field is covered with
thousands of sherds, mostly RB, but ranging down to Medieval.
The farmer, D.A. Thompson, has a bronze fibula, a Roman glass
bead, and other items, from this field. A flint scaper and two
small flakes have also been found. The lead pigs are on loan to
Wells Museum.(1)

The precise spot where the pigs of lead were
found was pointed out on the ground by Mr. Ashworth (a) at
ST 57489 51377 at 'A'.

Exploratory digs by him over the past ten years have revealed
evidence of Romano-British occupation from the 1st to the 4th
cent. A.D. The site seems to cover the eastern part of the
modern field centred at ST 575514. Crudely paved areas have
been encountered but no building has been certainly identified.
Finds include a brass of Marcus Aurelius, large quantities of
pottery (with Samian and New Forest wares), many fragments of
worked lead, and lead and iron slag. The finds are in the
Museums at Watts and Axbridge.(2a)

ST576516. Several hut floors with a number of post holes
indicate the site of the RB settlement at Vespasian (late
Rookery) farm (3). Several large flagstones were lifted during
ploughing, and subsequent topsoil removal uncovered rough
floors, paths, cooking pits, pottery, metal work, etc. There
was much evidence for lead-working. (4)

Very large area of Romano-British settlement with buildings;
probably at least as large as Charterhouse.

Although a large Roman settlement with an interest in lead
production is claimed, there is only minor evidence of mining
activity (on small scale OS air-photos) in the Green Ore area -
nothing to compare with that at Charterhouse and Priddy/Chewton
Mendip. This is no doubt because medieval and later mining at
Green Ore was not extensive, the area being mainly used for
sheep-running (The Mines of Mendip 1967, J W Gough, passim).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Somerset archaeology and natural history : the proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society
Source details : Photos Illusts (L.S. Palmer; H.W.W. Ashworth)
Page(s) : 52-88
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 101-2, 1956-7
Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 GHP 09-JUN-66
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2a
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Mr. H. Ashworth, 9 Lucas Close, West Town Lane, Bristol 4.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source details : Report on RB Settlement, Vespasian Farm, 1970. Mendip Nature Research Comm. H Ashworth
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Council for British Archaeology : Group 12 (Wessex) & Group 13 (South West) : Archaeological review
Source details :
Page(s) : 32
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 6, 1971
Source Number : 5
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Ms Notes (E K Tratman 10.3.74)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5b
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : F. Neale, Winscombe, Somerset.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Later Prehistoric
Display Date : Later Prehistoric
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : C1-C4
Monument End Date : 399
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Lead Workings, Settlement
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Find

Components and Objects:
Period : Later Prehistoric
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : FLAKE
Object Material : Flint
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Lead Workings, Settlement
Object Type : INGOT
Object Material : Lead
Period : Medieval
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 02/09/2013
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : ST 55 SE 12
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ROOKERY FARM, GREEN ORE (SITE A)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1956-01-01
End Date : 1962-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ROOKERY FARM, GREEN ORE (SITE B)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1957-01-01
End Date : 1968-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON ST 55 SE 12
Start Date : 1966-06-09
End Date : 1966-06-09