Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005599
Date first listed: 21-Apr-1956
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish: Steeple Langford
National Grid Reference: SU 03044 36135
Iron Age or Romano-British enclosed farmstead called East Castle.
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. Later Iron Age and Romano-British occupation occurred widely across Cranborne Chase and 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. There are over 50 recorded examples within the area which are thought to date to this later Iron Age and Romano-British period. Most early examples are characterised by a curvilinear enclosure with round buildings, although these are sometimes superseded by rectilinear or triangular shaped enclosures with rectilinear buildings. On Cranborne Chase, many examples were occupied over an extended period and some grew in size and complexity. Despite some scrub growth and partial early excavation the Iron Age or Romano-British enclosed farmstead called East Castle survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 21 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 includes an Iron Age or Romano-British enclosed farmstead situated on the north facing upper slopes of a prominent ridge between two dry valleys overlooking the distant Wylye Valley. The enclosed farmstead survives as a roughly circular enclosure measuring approximately 50m in diameter internally and defined by a rampart bank of 4m wide and 0.5m high, a narrow berm and an outer ditch of up to 4m wide and 0.5m deep. To the east is a simple gap entrance with a causeway across the ditch. Within the interior to the south west is a circular mound of some 10m in diameter and 0.7m high surrounded by traces of a ditch which was excavated by Colt Hoare and produced some pottery and a bone pin. At the time of excavation it was thought this was a bowl barrow, but it now seems more likely to have been a round house given the lack of an interment.
Further archaeological remains survive in the vicinity some are scheduled separately whilst others are not included because they have not been formally assessed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: WI 446
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape 214487; Wiltshire HER SU03NW204
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