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BALT MOOR WALL

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A medieval causeway known as Balt Moor Wall located on the Somerset Levels north west of the River Tone. The Balt Moor Wall was originally constructed as a causeway and subsequently used as a flood defence barrier. It survives for approximately 550 metres as a raised embankment above the surrounding low lying ground. An investigation programme into the stability of the causeway in 1996 confirmed a medieval construction phase with pottery recovered during the investigation providing a 14th or 15th century date. The earliest known medieval mention of the causeway comes from a charter signed by King Stephen between 1135 and 1154 in which he refers to work carried out by monks of Athelney Abbey as part of land drainage and reclamation of the levels and moors. The monument may have been earlier however. Balt Moor Wall causeway links the fortified burghs of Athelney, a stronghold established by King Alfred in 878 and Lyng, which is referred to in the Burghal Hideage, a list of fortified burhs that dates from the early 10th century. Contemporary documents refer to a causeway or bridge which connects the two burhs. A course of laid stone rubble located at 3.2 metres below the present ground level in the 1996 investigation may be the remains of the Saxon causeway or bridge to which these documents refer. Environmental samples taken from under the medieval bank in 1998 were of a 5th to 7th century date that substantiates the case for an earlier Saxon structure. The causeway was faced with stone in 1675 and in 1880 it was encased in masonry at the direction of the Somerset Drainage Commissioners. Scheduled.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.