Orcheston Down Romano-British landscape


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009461

Date first listed: 12-Mar-1990


Ordnance survey map of Orcheston Down Romano-British landscape
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Orcheston

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Shrewton

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Tilshead

National Grid Reference: SU 07076 48121


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

Reasons for Designation

The most complete and extensive survival of chalk downland archaeological remains in central southern England occurs on Salisbury Plain, particularly in those areas lying within the Salisbury Plain Training Area. These remains represent one of the few extant archaeological "landscapes" in Britain and are considered to be of special significance because they differ in character from those in other areas with comparable levels of preservation. Individual sites on Salisbury Plain are seen as being additionally important because the evidence of their direct association with each other survives so well. Romano-British villages surviving as earthworks are rare nationally, as are extensive, well preserved, Romano-Celtic field systems. The association of a Roman village surviving as impressive earthworks at "Church Pits", extensive contemporary field systems and a major prehistoric land boundary, provides important evidence for the nature of Romano-British downland settlement and agricultural practises. Additionally the monument includes several prehistoric funerary monuments considered to be of national importance in their own right.


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


An exceptionally well preserved area of settlement, surrounded by an extensive area of related field systems. Two barrows and a boundary bank and ditch feature are also included within the constraint area. 1 - Romano-British "Church Pits" settlement represented by a series of features along the crest of a west slope. They comprise circular or oval pits with mounds of upcast. Romano-British pottery has been found on the site. A plantation impinges on the north of the area. 2 - A field system to the south-east of "Church Pits", settlement, Orcheston Down. It is in a very good condition. 3 - A field system to the south-west of "Church Pits", settlement, Orcheston Down. The lynchets are visible but somewhat rounded due to ploughing. 4 - A bowl barrow 18m overall diameter with no sign of a ditch. It is marked by an iron bar set into concrete. (SU06584771) 5 - A bowl barrow with a diameter of c.23m and no sign of a ditch. (SU06514759) 6 - An extensive system of Celtic fields to the north-west of "Church Pits" settlement, Orcheston Down. These fields are best preserved in an area on the eastern slope. 7 - A field system to the south of "Church Pits", settlement, Orcheston Down. It is in good condition particularly a section north of the east/west track visible from Half Moon Copse. 8 - A boundary running across East Down and Orcheston Down. The best preserved length is situated on Orcheston Down. On Orcheston Down the ditch is c.3m wide with a bank c.4m wide to the north. It has been mutilated by military activity.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 10115

Legacy System: RSM


Trust for Wessex Archaeology, (1987)
Wiltshire Library & Museum Service, (1987)

End of official listing