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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 those groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age. The part of the linear boundary known as the Wansdyke 420m south west of Barrowmead Cottage survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, adaptive re-use, military and territorial significance and overall landscape context.
The monument includes a section of the linear boundary (prehistoric) known as the Wansdyke, situated on a prominent ridge overlooking the valley of the Newton Brook. This section of the dyke survives as visible earthworks with the bank standing up to 2m high and at least one ditch up to 1m deep. Geophysical surveys of much of the Wansdyke have shown ditches survive on both sides of the bank; where they are not visible they are preserved as entirely buried features. The linear boundary is known to be prehistoric in origin and was modified during the early medieval period when it was used as a military frontier and boundary work between Wessex and Mercia which was in place by the 9th century. Its name is derived from 'Woden's Dyke', Woden being the Anglo-Saxon god who also gave his name to Wednesday. Other sections of the Wansdyke are the subject of separate schedulings.
Sources: PastScape 1066087
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
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.
This map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. This copy shows the entry on 28-May-2022 at 03:00:54.
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