is situated in one of the most fertile and pleasant parts of the
Mendips.The village straddles the A367 in a ribbon development and lies
between the Roman City of Bath and the town of
is evidence of early man having occupied the parish.
In 1905, Father
Ethelbert Horne, a monk at
Downside Abbey in Stratton-on-the-Fosse,
led the excavations of a cave at Nettlebridge in the South of the
31/646495). The skeletons
of a male and a female were discovered, along with Bronze Age pottery.
A second and lower cave at the same location was excavated in
1947 by the Downside Archaeological Society.
This revealed more
human bones together with that of deer,
wild cat, small horse
and Mendip Hare. Late
Neolithic grooved ware pottery and flint implements were also
Neolithic/Bronze Age site has also been identified on the eastern ridge
of a valley running approximately North to South from the centre of the
village.Concentrations of worked flint, flint implements and a
scattering of arrowheads and scrapers give evidence of habitation within
both the Neolithic and Bronze Age, some of the tools having been
re-touched at a later date. (Issue
16. Five Arches Spring,
outside the parish boundary at
Hill (nat. grid ref. 31/5656) an Iron Age Camp is thought to have been
invaded and occupied by the Belgae in the later Iron Age.
The Romans later occupied the Camp.
of the Roman occupation and subsequent settlement in the Parish are
numerous the Fosse, the Roman Road, has been excavated at Ashwick and
within the village and has been uncovered on a number of occasions
during routine works for essential services. Roman remains were found
(c.1892) at ‘Killings
Knap’ (nat. grid ref.
31/662519), where a skeleton was found in a shallow grave cut out of the
superficial layers of lias.This is thought to originate from the Roman
period.The bones were re-interred at the same location.
at Killings Knap revealed over a quarter of a hundred weight of finds,
including a stone quern, a piece of decorated Samian (bearing potter’s
marks TAVRIANVS and ALBVCI-OF) a blue glass bead and bronze coins of
Constantine the Great.(vol.1. no.2. Proceedings of Downside
1993, indications of a former building were found at Linkmead, a
location between the village and Killings Knap.Excavations in subsequent
years showed this to be from the Romano/British period.Finds confirmed a
third to fourth century date for its final phase of occupation.
Geophysical Survey of Linkmead shows the possible existence of other
buildings on the site. The
one excavated building can be seen to be in an enclosure surrounded by
about seven similar enclosures, some possibly with buildings.There is
evidence of ‘squatter’
use of the excavated building and certainly some of the walls were
robbed for building stone for use in other buildings at a later
date.However, there is little archaeological evidence so far of the life
of those in the parish after the break-up of the
some time during the reign of King Edgar (957-975 AD),
the Manor and lands of the Parish were given to the Abbey of
Glastonbury and during the time of Edward the Confessor (1042-1066 AD)
were let to a tenant named Alwold, a Saxon Thane.
The Manor was included among
the lands of the Abbey of which William the Conqueror (1066) deprived
the Abbey.William bestowed the Manor on his favourite prelate and
assistant, the Bishop of Coutance and this is recorded in Doomsday.
doorway on the South side of the present parish church is
Manor was next held by Thomas de Sancta Vigore, who died in 1294.A
Thomas de Gourney subsequently became Lord of the Manor, but owing to
the part he had taken in the murder of Edward II, after the downfall of
Isobella and Mortimer, he was obliged to flee the country.His lands were
confiscated and became a possession of the Crown, subsequently becoming
annexed to the Duchy of Cornwall.The Duchy is the oldest of English
Duchies and, with the brief exception of the interregnum during the
Commonwealth (1649-1660), has existed continuously.The Duchy is still
one of the major landowners in the parish, along with Downside Abbey.
farming was always the core of existence in times past, the parish was a
highly important centre for the coal industry until the middle of the
Twentieth Century. It was a
well-established industry by the Fifteenth Century and there is little
doubt that the existence of coal was known in Roman times.
coal pits first took the form of surface mining, the remains of which
are visible in the fields to the South of the Parish to this day.No
enclosed land was broken for mining until the beginning of the
Seventeenth Century, when a licence from the Lord of the Manor, to enter
leasehold properties, had to
underground seams of coal were always narrow and sandwiched with hard
rock making it difficult to mine.The Pits were also prone to
flooding.The last working pit to close in the parish was at New Rock,
where a total of four seams had been worked.
1821 the Parish had seventy-four inhabited houses with a total
population of three hundred and seventeen.
Twenty-four of these occupants were employed in agriculture.Today
agriculture is still a major influence on the Parish, but employs few
people.The major influence on the growth of the village in the
Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries has been the community of English
Benedictine monks who settled at
first school for village children was organised in 1825 and soon over
one hundred children were in attendance.The first purpose-built school,
together with a schoolhouse and church for the Roman Catholic
Parishioners, was commenced in 1854.A second village school was built in
1850 by the National Society.Both of these schools are now closed and
have moved to locations in other villages.
the villagers of Stratton-on-the-Fosse look to the nearby towns of
Midsomer Norton and Radstock and of