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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 199898

Hob Uid: 199898
Location :
Somerset
Mendip
Lamyatt
Grid Ref : ST6695036180
Summary : Excavations on Lamyatt Beacon recorded the site of a Romano-Celtic temple and a Saxon cemetery. The Roman temple was square in plan, with a central cella and extra rooms on the east side. A small sunken room was found to be south of the temple and a small rectangular building to the north. The temple was in use from circa 250 AD to 375 AD. The inhumation cemetery comprised sixteen inhumations. All the burials were extended and orientated west-east or southwest-northeast. Radio carbon dating of two of the burials give a sixth-eighth century date for the cemetery.
More information : A much robbed Roman shrine at Lamyatt Beacon [ST 6696
3617], on the very top of Creech Hill (near Bruton), was
partly excavated by Mrs. C. M. Bennett following superficial
digging by the boys of King's School, Bruton. They had found
eight very small pots, probably votive, and a quantity of pottery
and coins giving a range A.D. 250-350. Mrs. Bennett uncovered a small rock-cut chamber, entered by steps, also several hundreds of 3rd-4th century coins and six bronze figurines representing Mercury (2), Mars, Minerva, Hercules and a priest. There was an abundance of oyster shells.

The site appears to be at ST 6695 3618, but it is obscured by
excavation spoil : no part of the temple is visible.

At King's School are some barbarous radiates, two iron
lanceheads and some coarse pottery. The boys also found two
skeletons which were left in situ. Mrs. Bennett has 2,000 coins
from this site, and there is other material in Taunton Museum.
The bronze figurines are in Bristol Museum.

A small Romano-Celtic temple, its elongated shape necessitated by the sharpness of the ridge on which it is sited. There are no
plans available, as yet, but on the south side was an apsidal-
ended underground chamber, approached by five steps cut-down through the ambulatory wall. Two more pieces of bronze statuette are reported, described as 'two old legs'. Occupation was circa
250-375 A.D., with a possible re-occupation on the evidence of
four orientated inhumations which are probably Saxon.

The temple was fully excavated to prevent further damage by
"treasure hunters". It was square in plan, with a central
cella and extra rooms on the east side. A small sunken room was
found to be south of the temple and a small rectangular building
to the north. Beyond this building a small cemetery was discovered. Ten burials were excavated in 1973 and were thought to be of late or post Roman date. A boundary bank possibly of Saxon date was also found.

Several "treasure hunters" collections were examined and were
found to contain coins, votive spearheads, necklaces and various
bronze items.

Reports approximately similar to 5:

Lamyatt Beacon. Late 3rd/Early 4th century temple. Plan &
excavation report. The adjacent cemetery of probably sixteen burials may date from the 6th to 8th centuries;Carbon 14 dates on two of the burials are given as 1430+70bp (ad 520) and 1180+70bp (ad 770) (Harwell refs 2670,2593)

The rectangular east-west building,which closely compares with the layout of early Irish oratories, was built after circa 300 but could not be accurately dated and possibly pre-dates the cemetery.

ST 670362: Roman building at Lamyatt Beacon, scheduled. (9)

Report on excavations in 1973. (10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : The journal of Roman studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 187
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 51, 1961
Source Number : 2
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Letter, 02-APR.1956. (G.S. Sale, Headmaster, Bruton School)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Eng Heritage Schedule of AMs County List Somerset Oct 1987 5
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 259-328
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 17, 1986
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JP 11-NOV-1966
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3a
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : G.S.Sale - Headmaster, King's, Bruton.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3b
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Mrs. C. M. Bennett, Tolbury House, Bruton.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Lewis M.J.T. 1966. Temples in Roman Britain, 29, 35, 46, 141, 147.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Letter R H Leech 10-JAN-1974 (int. Report for DOE)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : DOE Arch Exc 1973 57-8. R H Leech
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Britannia : a journal of Romano-British and kindred studies
Source details :
Page(s) : 452
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 5 (1974)
Source Number : 8
Source : British Archaeological Reports: British series
Source details : Temples, Churches and Religion: Recent Research in Roman Britain (ed W Rodwell)
Page(s) : 329-336, 346, 349-52
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 77, 1980

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : In use 250-375
Monument End Date : 375
Monument Start Date : 250
Monument Type : Temple
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : C6-8
Monument End Date : 799
Monument Start Date : 500
Monument Type : Inhumation Cemetery
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SO 327
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 2/28/05
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 23723
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : ST 63 NE 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, LAMYATT BEACON ROMAN TEMPLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1950-01-01
End Date : 1959-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAMYATT BEACON ROMAN TEMPLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1956-01-01
End Date : 1958-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON ST 63 NE 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1966-11-11
End Date : 1966-11-11
Associated Activities : Primary, LAMYATT BEACON ROMAN TEMPLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1973-01-01
End Date : 1973-12-31