Medieval Buildings

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The principal discovery at Longforth Farm was the remains of a previously unknown high status medieval building complex. The discovery of a substantial and extensive complex of medieval buildings was completely unexpected and raised a number of questions – what were the buildings, when were they built, who were they built for, and when and why did they disappear? 
 
The building complex is thought to have been a manor house and though heavily robbed, key elements identified include a hall, solar with garderobe, and service wing. A forecourt lay to the north and a courtyard with at least one ancillary building and a possible detached kitchen to the south. To the east was a complex of enclosures and pits and beyond this a fishpond.
 
There was a restricted range and number of medieval finds, but together these suggest that occupation spanned the late 12th/early 13th century to the late 14th/early 15th century. There was a notable group of medieval floor tiles and roof furniture, but documentary research has failed to identify the owners and any records relating specifically to this important building. One possibility is that it belonged to the Bishops of Bath and Wells, and was perhaps abandoned around the end of the 14th century when they may have moved their court to within the nearby and then relatively new market town of Wellington.
 
In conclusion, we still don’t know for certain who built the manor house and why it was abandoned, but it represents a remarkable and unexpected discovery. Perhaps one day in the future a researcher will find documents lying undiscovered in a church archive or library that will provide answers to this medieval mystery.