Part of a Later Iron Age or Romano-British settlement 590m north west of Compton Barn


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Dorset (Unitary Authority)
Compton Valence
National Grid Reference:
SY 57947 93938

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 The simple farmsteads are sometimes superseded by rectilinear or triangular shaped enclosures with rectilinear buildings and many examples were occupied over an extended period and some grew in size and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 reduction in the height of the earthworks through agricultural activity, the part of a Later Iron Age or Romano-British settlement 590m north west of Compton Barn survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.


The monument includes part of a Later Iron Age or Romano-British settlement, situated on the upper north east facing slopes of a ridge, overlooking two dry valleys leading towards the source of a tributary to the River Hooke. The settlement survives differentially as either earthworks or as buried structures and deposits. A series of small enclosures are defined by banks standing up to 0.2m high and one larger rectangular enclosure to the north west has a bank of up to 1m high with an outer ditch of 3m wide and 0.3m deep. This enclosure contains at least two depressions measuring up to 0.7m deep. Further similar depressions lie outside the enclosure to the south east and one is surrounded by a bank. Further to the south east is a possible hut circle of up to 8m in diameter and 0.5m deep within another partial enclosure. Field walking in 1984 produced Late Iron Age pottery, Black Burnished, Samian and New Forest wares together with some Neolithic Chert fragments. A partial excavation nearby in 1972 produced over 500 pottery sherds, roof tiles and nails of Romano-British date. A Roman road passes nearby to the south of the settlement but is not included in the scheduling. The settlement is crossed by field boundaries and a track, the boundaries and the surface of the track are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these features is included.

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-450952 and 451285


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

Legacy System number:
DO 464
Legacy System:


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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