Reasons for Designation
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 The simple farmsteads are sometimes superseded by rectilinear or triangular shaped enclosures with rectilinear buildings and many examples were occupied over an extended period and some grew in size and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. Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period. The multi-period landscape including Iron Age or Romano-British settlement, part of an associated field system, six bowl barrows and an enclosure 600m south east of Langford Farm survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction, development, function, social organisation, agricultural, ritual and funerary practices, domestic arrangements, possible re-use and overall landscape context of this important area through time.
The monument includes a multi-period landscape, situated on the north west facing and steeply-sloping sides of the prominent Hog Hill in an area known as Grimstone Down, overlooking the valley of the Sydling Water. The settlement and field system survive as a series of enclosures, field banks of up to 0.6m high and 3m wide and tracks up to 1.3m deep with an extensive field system of rectilinear fields defined by banks and lynchets up to 1.3m high emanating outwards and covering an area of approximately 20ha. The apparent superimposition of certain fields suggests later cultivation or hints at a more complex development of the field system. To the south a partial excavation in 1950, prior to the construction of a reservoir, produced Iron Age sherds and indicated the development of the lynchets through prolonged cultivation. Repairs to the water main in 1969 - 70 enabled the original construction of a field bank to be observed and produced 300 sherds of Romano-British coarse ware; two sherds of New Forest ware; 21 nails; and a small fragment of roof tile which implied Romano-British occupation and redistribution of finds from earlier periods of occupation. Scattered throughout the field system are six bowl barrows which survive as circular or slightly oval mounds. These are surrounded by buried quarry ditches, from which their construction material was derived. The two oval mounds measure 10m long, 6m wide and up to 0.8m high and 17m long by 12.8m wide and up to 1.6m high. The circular mounds vary in size from 6.5m up to 15.4m in diameter and from 0.5m up to 1.7m high. Also included within the field system is a roughly rectangular earthwork of unknown purpose and date. Its sides are approximately 6m long and the enclosure is defined by a bank of 2m wide and 0.2m high internally. The whole is surrounded by a ditch of 2m wide and 0.2m deep. There is no visible entrance and the interior of the enclosure is slightly raised. It has been interpreted as a possible barrow.
A medieval monastic road from Abbotsbury to Cerne crosses the eastern part of the field system and is known locally as the 'Abbot's Way'.
PastScape Monument No:-453182, 453808, 453207, 1457326, 1457328, 1457329, 1457330, 1457331 and 1457332