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Causewayed enclosure 900m west of Great Wilbraham parish church

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: Causewayed enclosure 900m west of Great Wilbraham parish church

List entry Number: 1009103

Location

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

County: Cambridgeshire

District: South Cambridgeshire

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Great Wilbraham

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 05-Jan-1976

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Jan-1993

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 20449

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

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Between 50 and 70 causewayed enclosures are recorded nationally, mainly in southern and eastern England. They were constructed over a period of some 500 years during the middle part of the Neolithic period (c.3000-2400 BC) but also continued in use into later periods. They vary considerably in size (from 2 to 70 acres) and were apparently used for a variety of functions, including settlement, defence, and ceremonial and funerary purposes. However, all comprise a roughly circular to ovoid area bounded by one or more concentric rings of banks and ditches. The ditches, from which the monument class derives its name, were formed of a series of elongated pits punctuated by unexcavated causeways. Causewayed enclosures are amongst the earliest field monuments to survive as recognisable features in the modern landscape and are one of the few known Neolithic monument types. Due to their rarity, their wide diversity of plan, and their considerable age, all causewayed enclosures are considered to be nationally important.

Despite being reduced by cultivation, the monument 900m west of Great Wilbraham church is one of the best-preserved of its type in Cambridgeshire and, because partial excavation has demonstrated the presence of three distinct types of deposits, it is known to retain conditions for the recovery of evidence pertaining to the use of the site.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a causewayed enclosure, defined by a double circuit of ditches. It is located on a low-lying knoll of chalk marl surrounded by peat, situated to the south of the Little Wilbraham River. Low ploughed-down earthworks mark the location of the monument but the enclosure is most clearly observed from the air and is recorded on aerial photographs; the following description is largely based on the photographic record. The enclosure is roughly oval in plan and has maximum dimensions of 260m east-west by 200m north-south. The outer ditch is estimated to be 4m wide and is interrupted by at least five causeways on its south-western arm. The inner ditch is separated from the outer by a distance of between 20-50m and is of similar width, although the circuit is less clearly defined than that of the outer ditch. Several poorly defined curvilinear features, thought to be subsidiary enclosure ditches, have been observed towards the western end of the interior. A straight linear feature, on an approximate northerly alignment, which runs across the centre of the enclosure, is thought to be a later field boundary or drainage ditch. Small scale excavations, accompanied by geophysical survey and surface collection of finds, were carried out in 1975-6. Three types of deposits were found to survive; features cut into bedrock, covered by layers of material eroded from the top of the knoll, and associated with peat containing waterlogged organic materials. Two phases of ditch construction and a palisade trench inside the outer ditch were recorded while a variety of artefacts of Neolithic date were recovered. There was also evidence of minor re-use of the site in the Roman period.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Palmer, R, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Interrupted Ditch Enclosures in Britain, , Vol. 42, (1976), 185
Other
CUCAP: BJC 50-7, (1972)
CUCAP: BUY 20-2, (1976)
CUCAP: BXG 65-75, (1975)
Unpublished summary in parish file, 1976,
Wilson, D R, Antiquity, (1975)

National Grid Reference: TL 53992 57817

Map

Map
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1009103 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 20-Nov-2017 at 11:13:38.

End of official listing