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Winscombe Archaeology

Monuments and other features:

Possible circular ditch. Electrical resistance investigation has identified along curved feature of such regularity that it could be a segment of an earth circle. Field boundaries to the north suggest that they follow part of the circumference. If this were the case, then the circle would have a diameter of about 220m and the ditch a width of about 4m. Slightly higher levels of resistance on the outside edge of the ditch may indicate the presence of a bank.


Linear feature. This feature spans the diameter of the hypothetical circle. It is 160m long with a divided terminus to the northeast 25m wide. The southwest terminus is about 10m wide. Very faint lines of higher resistance indicated in the geophysics survey can be seen to run either side of the feature. A Roman road cuts across the southern end. A number of possible interpretations have been suggested including: an embanked cursus; a long barrow; a field lynchet. A gradiometer survey proved to be unsuccessful because of the underlying geology. Further investigation is planned. The feature lies in an elevated position.


Round barrows. Five round barrows have been identified and with one exception all have been completely destroyed. Four of them lie in fields to the east and north of the features above and are positioned on the most elevated area. The fifth barrow lies alongside the ancient road approaching the settlement from the south. It is just visible on aerial photographs and as a very faint earthwork.



Barrow (north and east of centre) at ST 4176 5855 north of Ilex Lane.  The feature is a circular area of high resistance about 16m in diameter surrounded by a ditch 2m wide and a 4m wide bank. It is not visible on the ground. (N.Somerset SMR 47332)


Probable barrow at ST 4170 5872 ( left of arrow) in Broadleaze. The feature is about 25m in diameter and is situated close to the disused railway line and north of the lane to Broadleaze Farm. The continuation of Ilex Lane passes to the west of the field.



Winscombe/Banwell Parish boundary.

This boundary ditch partly follows the course of an ancient stream. Most of the features noted above lie in the fields immediately to its north, below Banwell Wood. The ditch was re-cut in 1999 and the opportunity was taken at the time to draw the entire face of the ditch below the settlement. Many features including foundations, ditches, the cross section of a road and a series of large pits were recorded. The remains of a primitive bridge across the ditch (date undetermined) were recorded before being destroyed.


Series of pits and postholes.  These were identified when the parish boundary ditch was re-cut. Four were evident following a curve in the line of the boundary ditch. One of these was investigated and proved to be a circular pit, with a posthole about 20cm in diameter cut into the fill.


There was no dating evidence except a very abraded piece of black burnished ware on the top surface. The cut of the ditch has destroyed most of the pit, but it is probable that a Romano-British occupation layer overlies the feature. A resistivity survey has indicated the possibility that the line of pits follows the inside of a curved feature about 3m wide continuing from the ditch and into the field for over 100m.


Finds.  Pottery from the late Iron Age to the 4th Century. Quern stones. Bone and antler. Three coins. Flint and stone tools.  See related Article