Cursus and trackway NW of Oakland Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1005318

Date first listed: 06-Aug-1975

Map

Ordnance survey map of Cursus and trackway NW of Oakland Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Worcestershire

District: Wychavon (District Authority)

Parish: Wick

National Grid Reference: SO 97489 45273

Summary

Cursus and long mortuary enclosures 560m north west of Oaklands Farm.

Reasons for Designation

A cursus is an elongated rectilinear earthwork, the length of which is normally greater than 250m and more than ten times its width. The sides are usually defined by a bank and external ditch, but occasionally by a line of closely set pits. The two long sides run roughly parallel and may incorporate earlier monuments of other classes. Access to the interior was restricted to a small number of entranceways, usually near the ends of the long sides. The width is normally in the range 20m to 60m. The greatest variations in the ground plan occur at the terminals, with a variety of both round ended and square ended examples recorded. Early Neolithic pottery has been found in the primary fill of some ditches, but there is also evidence of construction in the Late Neolithic period. There are indications re-cutting or extending of the ditches at some sites and the distribution of monuments of later periods often respects cursus monuments demonstrating their continued recognition through time. Long mortuary enclosures are oblong-shaped enclosures up to 150m in length, surrounded by narrow, fairly straight ditches with slightly rounded corners, containing an open space edged by a perimeter bank set within the ditch.  Most long mortuary enclosures are orientated within 45 degrees of an east-west alignment.  Taken together, these features indicate construction and use of the monument over a long period of time. As one of the few known classes of Neolithic monuments, and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as monument types, all cursus and long mortuary enclosure monuments are considered to be nationally important. Despite the monument being ploughed and crossed by metalled tracks the cursus and long mortuary enclosures 560m north west of Oaklands Farm survive comparatively well. The archaeological remains survive exclusively as buried features or remains. The considerable age and distinct layout of the cursus and long mortuary enclosures provide clear evidence for human ritual activity in an area with large numbers of later settlements. This evidence for continuity is particularly significant as is the close association of two very rare types of archaeological site.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 21 May 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. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.

This monument includes a cursus and long mortuary enclosures located on a slight north east facing slope overlooking the River Avon. The monument is known from cropmarks visible on aerial photographs and survives as a cursus, two long mortuary enclosures and linear features. The cursus includes two parallel ditches that measure approximately 800m long with a gap of approximately 8m between the ditches. The cursus enclosure is orientated east to west. To the north is a long mortuary enclosure orientated parallel to the cursus and this measures approximately 150m by 20m. A second long mortuary enclosure is located to the south east and measures approximately 160m by 55m, terminating in a curvilinear ditch. To the north and south of the monument are linear features that are parallel and perpendicular to the cursus.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: WT 217

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

Sources

Other
Hancox, E. & Russell, O. 2009, Recent Changes to Scheduled Monuments in Worcestershire. Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service
Pastscape Monument No:- 117990

End of official listing