ARCHAEOLOGISTS believe they have found a lost medieval manor building - as they prepare the site for development.

St Cleers Manor - historically known as St Clare's - dates back to the Saxon period as a royal dwelling.

But by the 1300s it was recorded as a farm dwelling only in documents.

Now, experts working with David Wilson Homes, which is building new homes in the town, have found remains of a medieval building which they believe could St Cleers Manor.

Steve Membery, county archaeologist of the South-West Heritage Trust and part of the team that has been advising David Wilson Homes on the discovery, said historians had always suspected the Manor of St Cleers might be nearby but until now it had never been found.

“The excavation has revealed a regionally significant medieval farmhouse associated with the name of the area St Cleers," he said.

"It is important and of great interest to archaeologists and local historians as it is a physical connection to the beginnings of the modern town of Somerton.”

The manor had been held by the St Clare’s family since the 1100s until around 1362.

It was subsequently passed down through various wealthy families over the centuries, but only achieved manorial status in 16th century.

It is likely that the archaeological team have found the site of the medieval farm complex rather than the earlier Saxon dwelling.

David Wilson Homes has pledged to preserve some of the walls of the manor and display them where they were found at its new Patch Meadows development so they can be enjoyed by the public.

Other items that have been found, including pottery and animal bones, will be handed over to the South-West Heritage Trust to be preserved.

Part of the walls of the building will be displayed on the green next to the pond at Patch Meadows. It’s hoped an information board can be erected to tell visitors more about ‘The Lost Manor of St Cleers’ and other discoveries at the site.

Dan Brace at AC Archaeology, who led the dig, said: “It’s great that it’ll be displayed right there on the site.

"The whole team was so excited when the discovery was made and now we can share that excitement with the public."