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Ilchester Town Wall

In the civil parish of Ilchester.
In the historic county of Somerset.
Modern Authority of Somerset.
1974 county of Somerset.
Medieval County of Somerset.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST521227
Latitude 50.99995° Longitude -2.68183°

Ilchester Town Wall has been described as a certain Urban Defence.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Ilchester was a walled borough in Saxon and Norman times, and was also fortified at the time of the Civil War. There are medieval documentary references to four town gates and the foundations are still visible in several places. The walls are of Roman origin. (PastScape)

The medieval town had four gates. East Gate, by which the Limington road left the town, was mentioned in 1242, and still stood in 1426. North Gate, presumably at the southern end of the bridge, occurs in 1304. West Gate is first mentioned in 1200, and was apparently still standing in 1605; it spanned the Foss Way and gave access both to the Exeter road and to the route to Pill Bridge and Langport. South Gate, with St. Michael's church above it, was known as Michell's Bowe. It was 'the greatest token of ancient building' which Leland saw in the town. It first occurs c. 1230–40, and was probably still standing in 1576. (VCH)

Several excavations around the town walls have produced evidence of the robbing of the the late Roman wall foundations and construction of a new town wall using the reclaimed stone, in the late 12th or early 13th century. The medieval wall was apparently built on the same alignment, outside the Roman wall, cut into the silted Roman ditch. So far excavation has only revealed evidence for the foundations and subsequent robber trenches for both the Roman and medieval walls. (Richardson 2002 p. 13)

The greatest token of auncient building that I saw yn al the toune ys a stone gate archid and voltid, and a chapelle or chirch of S. Michael, as I remembre, over it. (Leland)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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