Causewayed enclosure and two ring ditches 140m south-east of New Farm

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1009237
Date first listed:
27-Apr-1976
Date of most recent amendment:
09-Dec-1992

Map

Ordnance survey map of Causewayed enclosure and two ring ditches 140m south-east of New Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. 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:
Cambridgeshire
District:
South Cambridgeshire (District Authority)
Parish:
Melbourn
National Grid Reference:
TL 36670 42333

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.

Although partially eroded by ploughing, the monument near New Farm retains conditions for the preservation of deeper features in the interior and silts contemporary with the use of the interior will survive in the buried ditches. The latter deposits have potential for the recovery of organic remains. The enclosure has an unusual and close association with two ring ditches which represent continuation of the site's use into the Bronze Age period.

Details

The monument includes a causewayed enclosure which is situated on fairly flat land about 800m north of the foot of the Chilterns. Although no earthworks can be observed on the ground, the monument is clearly visible from the air and is recorded on aerial photographs; the following description is based on the photographic record. The causewayed enclosure is circular, of maximum diameter 120m. The edge is defined over about two thirds of its circumference by a 5m wide ditch which is discontinuous, being interrupted by causeways in at least six places. On the south-western arc of the perimeter there is an 80m wide gap, or major causeway, which is flanked on each side by a ring ditch which may represent a round barrow levelled by recent cultivation: these latter features are associated with a re-use of the Neolithic enclosure in the Bronze Age and each comprises a 10m diameter circular enclosure bounded by a ditch from which mound material was excavated. A second major causeway 50m wide lies on the northern arc of the Neolithic enclosure and four minor causeways, each less than 10m wide, are located at irregular intervals on the north-western and south-eastern arcs.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number:
20448
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Palmer, R, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Interrupted Ditch Enclosures in Britain, , Vol. 42, (1976)
Other
CUCAP: AXS 24-6, (1969)
CUCAP: BFB 25-26, (1971)
CUCAP: BLQ 17,18, (1973)
CUCAP: VR 91-3,

Legal

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

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