Reasons for Designation
Henges are ritual or ceremonial centres which date to the Late Neolithic period (2800-2000 BC). They were constructed as roughly circular or oval- shaped enclosures comprising a flat area over 20m in diameter enclosed by a ditch and external bank. One, two or four entrances provided access to the interior of the monument, which may have contained a variety of features including timber or stone circles, post or stone alignments, pits, burials or central mounds. Finds from the ditches and interiors of henges provide important evidence for the chronological development of the sites, the types of activity that occurred within them and the nature of the environment in which they were constructed. Henges occur throughout England with the exception of south-eastern counties and the Welsh Marches. They are generally situated on low ground, often close to springs and water-courses. Henges are rare nationally with about 80 known examples. Henges are one of the few types of identified Neolithic structures. Despite some reduction in the height of the earthworks through past cultivation and the construction of a substantial field boundary, the henge 315m north west of Westcott survives well, is one of a group of extremely rare and ancient classes of monument and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, longevity, social organisation, territorial significance, ritual practices, trade and overall landscape context.
The monument includes a henge, situated on a south-facing ridge, overlooking the valleys of tributaries to the River Lynher. The henge survives as an oval enclosure measuring approximately 47m long by 41m wide internally with a level interior. It is defined by a ditch of up to 12m wide and 1.2m deep, with an outer bank of up to 11m wide and 1m high. To the north, west and east the bank is overlain by a substantial field boundary. There is a possible entrance to the enclosure on the south. Balstone Down, immediately to the north of the henge, was the source of Greenstone for the manufacture of Neolithic axes.
The boundary hedge is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is included.
PastScape Monument No:-436674