Earthworks on Loscombe Hill


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Dorset (Unitary Authority)
Sydling St. Nicholas
National Grid Reference:
ST 61607 00369, ST 61735 00207, ST 61914 00163, ST 61942 00309, ST 62145 00192


Iron Age or Romano British enclosed farmstead and part of an associated field system 1155m west of Marr’s Cross.

Reasons for Designation

Later Iron Age and Romano-British occupation included a range of settlement types. The surviving remains comprise farmsteads, hamlets, villages and hillforts, which together demonstrate an important sequence of settlement. The non-defensive enclosed farm or homestead represents the smallest and simplest of these types. Most early examples are characterised by a curvilinear enclosure with circular domestic buildings and associated agricultural structures. Where excavated, these sites are also found to contain pits or rectangular post- built structures for the storage of grain and other produce, evidence of an organised and efficient farming system. The surrounding enclosures would have provided protection against cattle rustling and tribal raiding. The simple farmsteads are sometimes superseded by rectilinear or triangular shaped enclosures with rectilinear buildings and many examples were occupied over an extended period and some grew in size and complexity. In central and southern England, most enclosed Iron Age farmsteads are situated in areas which are now under intensive arable cultivation. As a result, although some examples survive with upstanding earthworks, the majority have been recorded as crop- and soil-marks appearing on aerial photographs. Despite some reduction in the height of the earthworks through cultivation the Iron Age or Romano British enclosed farmstead and part of an associated field system 1155m west of Marr’s Cross survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, agricultural practices, territorial significance, social organisation of the builders, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 13 January 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, which falls into five areas, includes an Iron Age or Romano British enclosed farmstead and part of its associated field system situated on the upper slopes and summits of the prominent Loscombe Hill and Folly Hill overlooking the Sydling Water and Loscombe Bottom. The farmstead and field system survive as a semi circular enclosure defined by a single bank of up to 0.4m high with traces of an outer ditch, along with parts of an extensive series of trackways, lynchets and banks with rectangular or square fields and some larger banks which have been interpreted as possible cross ridge dykes. Some of the banks stand to a height of 1.3m and other parts of the settlement and field system are preserved as entirely buried layers, structures and deposits in part visible on aerial photographs.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
DO 365
Legacy System:


PastScape Monument No:-199225, 199162 and 453023


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

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