Earthwork in Dogbury Plantation


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)
Minterne Magna
National Grid Reference:
ST 66133 05094


Defensive enclosure 605m SSE of Dogbury Farm.

Reasons for Designation

During the mid-prehistoric period (seventh to fifth centuries BC) a variety of different types of defensive structures began to be constructed and occupied .The most obvious sites were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition to these a range of smaller sites, sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha and defined as defended settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others are found in less prominent positions. The enclosing defences were of earthen construction, some sites having a single bank and ditch (univallate), others having more than one (multivallate). At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Within the enclosure stone or timber-built round houses may have been constructed either for human habitation or to protect livestock. The communities occupying these sites were probably single family groups, the defended enclosures were being used as farmsteads. Construction and use of this type of site extended over several centuries, possibly through to the early Romano-British period (mid to late first century AD). Despite disturbance by quarrying the defensive enclosure 605m SSE of Dogbury Farm survives comparatively well, is strongly constructed and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, date, function, possible abandonment, strategic and territorial significance, longevity, possible domestic arrangements, agricultural practices and overall landscape context.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 27 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 includes a defensive enclosure situated on the summit of the prominent Dogbury Hill overlooking the valley of the River Cerne. The enclosure is defined to the south and west by a strongly built rampart bank measuring up to 7m wide and 2m high with an outer ditch of up to 5m wide and 0.6m deep. The rampart and ditch turn towards the north at both ends. To the north east it gradually fades out as an earthwork. To the south west the rampart and ditch has been cut by later quarrying and gradually become a scarp of up to 6m wide and 1.5m high before fading out on a quarry face and not clearly continuing as an earthwork to the north west. There is a simple causewayed entrance to the south east. To the south the rampart has been cut by a later track. The enclosure has been interpreted by different sources as a defensive enclosure, an Iron Age defended settlement, a cross ridge dyke and an unfinished hillfort and although of late prehistoric construction style and clearly defensive in nature its exact function is not known.


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

Legacy System number:
DO 473
Legacy System:


PastScape Monument No:-198787


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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