Field system and settlement on Watcombe Plain
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Feb-2020 at 16:05:23.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- West Dorset (District Authority)
- Alton Pancras
- West Dorset (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- ST 71150 03084
Enclosed Iron Age or Romano-British farmstead and part of its associated field system 940m north west of Harvey’s Farm.
Reasons for Designation
Romano-British farmsteads are small agricultural units comprising groups of up to four circular or rectangular houses along with associated structures which may include wells, storage pits, corn-drying ovens and granary stores. These were sometimes constructed within a yard surrounded by a rectangular or curvilinear enclosure, and associated field systems, trackways and cemeteries may be located nearby. Most Romano-British farmsteads in England have been discovered by the analysis of aerial photographs. They usually survive in the form of buried features visible as crop and soil marks and occasionally as low earthworks. Often situated on marginal agricultural land and found throughout the British Isles, they date to the period of Roman occupation (c. AD 43-450). Romano-British farmsteads are generally regarded as low status settlements, with the members of one family or small kinship group pursuing a mixed farming economy. Excavation at these sites has shown a marked continuity with later prehistoric settlements. There is little evidence of personal wealth and a limited uptake of the Romanised way of life. Romano- British farmsteads occur throughout southern England, but cluster on the chalk downland of Wessex, Sussex and Kent. They are the most representative form of rural settlement in the region during the Roman period. The enclosed Iron Age or Romano-British farmstead and part of its associated field system 940m north west of Harvey’s Farm survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, development, longevity, social organisation, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, adaptive re-use, abandonment and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 February 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
This monument includes an enclosed Iron Age or Romano British farmstead and part of its associated field system situated on the steep east facing slopes of the prominent ridge called Church Hill. The farmstead survives as a curving enclosure which contains at least two hut circles one measuring 6m in diameter and defined by a stony rim bank and the other up to 11m in diameter and defined by a terraced depression into the slope. The surrounding field system of rectangular fields are defined by lynchets and also contain ridge and furrow indicating they were re-used for cultivation during the medieval period. A track way defined by lynchets also connects some of the fields to the farmstead.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- DO 759
- Legacy System:
- RSM - OCN
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing