Ring ditches, barrows and associated enclosures, Port Meadow


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010717

Date first listed: 17-Oct-1990

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Feb-1991


Ordnance survey map of Ring ditches, barrows and associated enclosures, Port Meadow
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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 - 1010717 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 17-Feb-2019 at 17:46:32.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Oxfordshire

District: Oxford (District Authority)

National Grid Reference: SP 49316 08868

Reasons for Designation

Port Meadow and Wolvercote Common contain evidence for consecutive periods of human activity covering the Bronze Age and Iron Age. Well- preserved sites of this type are rare in Britain especially where evidence for habitation, burial and farming are found in association and occasionally overlap. Potential for the preservation of organic remains at this site is very high. Early excavations yielded animal and bird bones while the survival of pollen would allow reconstruction of the environment at the time of later prehistoric settlement. This combined with the settlement evidence will provide an unusually complete insight into later prehistoric. occupation of the Thames valley.


The monument comprises a number of archaeological items, mainly dating to the later prehistoric period (2000-50BC). Although some of the items are visible from the ground, the majority can only be seen from the air. Indeed the range and number of items present on Port Meadow was not fully realised until air photographs were first taken in 1933. The archaeological items within Port Meadow may be described as follows: 1) a late 17th century racecourse (SP492091); 2), 3) and 4) circular ditched enclosures (SP495086, 497085, 497084); 5) a circular ditched enclosure with a later Bronze Age burial mound (SP496084); 6) a Bronze Age burial mound combined with two banked ditches (SP492089); 7) a circular cropmark (SP491088); 8) a rectangular enclosure with ditches (SP492088); 9) a group of enclosures of varying size (SP486089); 10) a rectangular enclosure (SP489089); 11) a low mound probably representing Iron Age habitation (SP492088); 12) a circular crop mark (SP488089); 13) a circular ditch of late Bronze Age date overlapped by a similar ditch of Iron Age date (SP492088); 14) a group of five small sub- rectangular enclosures (SP492084); 15) a sub-rectangular enclosure containing what might have been prehistoric fields (SP491089). Excluded from the constraint area are the allotment gardens, as presently defined, in the northern part of Port Meadow on Wolvercote Common. The access trackway is also excluded but not the ground beneath it. From the SW corner of the monument, an area of riverbank running northwards 100m long and 2m wide, which is used for mooring purposes, is excluded from the scheduling. The ditches along the eastern boundary of the site are also excluded from the scheduling as are the ditches to the north of the monument, bordering Lower Wolvercote.

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: 12003

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Oxfordshire: Volume I, (1939)
Atkinson, R J C, Archaeological sites on Port Meadow, Oxford, (1942), 24-28
Atkinson, R J C, Archaeological sites on Port Meadow, Oxford, (1942)
Cordeaux, , Merry, , Oxoniensia, (1948)
Penney, S, A 19th Century excavation on Port Meadow, Oxford, (1985)
Leeds, E T, Atkinson, R J C, 'Oxoniensia' in Oxoniensia, (1945)
Rhodes, P P, 'Oxoniensia' in Oxoniensia, (1949)
84, Ordnance Survey, Ordnance Survey Archaeological Records SP 40 NE 2.4,
AP no's 4908/1/4/5/6,
AP nos 4908/1/5/6,
AP nos 4908/2/4/6/7/8,
Cole, Benjamin,
Ordnance Survey , Ordnance Survey Archaeology Records SP 40 NE 22.2,
Ordnance Survey , Ordnance Survey Archaeology Records SP 40 NE 22.3,
Ordnance Survey, Ordnance Survey Archaeological Records SP 40 NE 22.1,
Title: Ordnance Survey, 1876 Source Date: Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing