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Grim's Ditch

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Grim's Ditch

List entry Number: 1004753

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Coombe Bissett

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Odstock

County: Hampshire

District: New Forest

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Rockbourne

County: Hampshire

District: New Forest

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Whitsbury

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 02-Sep-1960

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

UID: WI 505

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Part of the linear boundary called Grim’s Ditch 615m south of Pennings Farm.

Reasons for Designation

Cranborne Chase is an area of chalkland well known for its high number, density and diversity of archaeological remains. These include a rare combination of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites, comprising one of the largest concentrations of burial monuments in England, the largest known cursus (a linear ritual monument) and a significant number and range of henge monuments (Late Neolithic ceremonial centres). Other important remains include a variety of enclosures, settlements, field systems and linear boundaries which date throughout prehistory and into the Romano-British and medieval periods. This high level of survival of archaeological remains is due largely to the later history of the Chase. Cranborne Chase formed a Royal Hunting Ground from at least Norman times, and much of the archaeological survival within the area resulted from associated laws controlling land-use which applied until 1830. The unique archaeological character of the Chase has attracted much attention over the years, notably during the later 19th century, by the pioneering work on the Chase of General Pitt-Rivers, Sir Richard Colt Hoare and Edward Cunnington, often regarded as the fathers of British archaeology. Archaeological investigations have continued throughout the 20th century and to the present day. Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying from less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs, or as a combination of both. The evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been reused later. The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries in the landscape, their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of the groups responsible for their construction. Linear earthworks occur quite widely across parts of Cranborne Chase and together, these are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age. The part of the linear boundary called Grim’s Ditch 615m south of Pennings Farm survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, maintenance, development, the social organisation of its builders, its social, territorial and strategic significance and overall landscape context.

History

See Details.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 24 September 2015. 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 three areas, includes part of a linear boundary which crosses the rolling countryside of Cranborne Chase regardless of the topography thus including hill crests like Black Hill and valleys. The linear boundary survives as a roughly 2.6km long bank standing on average 1m high with a ditch to the south of between 1.5m up to 3m wide and 0.5m up to 1.3m deep preserved differentially throughout the length. This section forms part of a much longer prehistoric boundary work and other sections are the subject of separate schedulings.

Selected Sources

Other
PastScape 217694
Wiltshire HER SU12SW631

National Grid Reference: SU 10751 23038, SU 11368 23288, SU 12260 23358

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Oct-2017 at 09:34:58.

End of official listing