A Medieval Manor House Rediscovered – Excavations at Longforth Farm, Wellington, Somerset

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by Simon Flaherty, Phil Andrews and Matt Leivers
 
ISBN 978-1-874350-85-9
 
 
Excavations at Longforth Farm, Wellington, Somerset, revealed limited evidence for late prehistoric settlement, but the principal discovery was the remains of a previously unknown high status medieval building complex. This 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.
 
A somewhat restricted range and number of medieval finds was recovered, but together these suggest that occupation spanned the late 12th/early 13th century to the late 14th/early 15th century. The finds include a notable group of medieval floor tiles and roof furniture. Although 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.
 
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