Furtlin’ at Burtle

Our season of excavation continued at the end of August into September as we headed out to Burtle to investigate the whereabouts of a medieval priory.

Our wonderful volunteers!

Our wonderful volunteers!

The rumours started in 1191 AD when William of Edington granted Brother Walter the Hermit ten acres of land ‘which his predecessor enclosed with a ditch and as much pasture outside the ditch as he needs for his cattle’. Aerial photographs have shown ditches forming a trapezoid enclosure that probably represents that original grant of land. On top of that, a narrow electric cable trench through the enclosure produced pottery of 12th to 14th century date from six pits or ditches, in addition to traces of two graves.

Our mission was to confirm the presence of the Priory and get a more solid chronology for the date of its religious occupation.

Utilising a huge task force of volunteers, we spent three weeks carefully unpicking the story of an unassuming field out in the Somerset Levels.

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See the Burtle Priory Page for the full story and historical background.