Three sections of a linear earthwork between Churchlane Copse and Early Bridge Copse, south of Silchester


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011956

Date first listed: 28-Nov-1934

Date of most recent amendment: 30-Aug-1995


Ordnance survey map of Three sections of a linear earthwork between Churchlane Copse and Early Bridge Copse, south of Silchester
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hampshire

District: Basingstoke and Deane (District Authority)

Parish: Silchester

National Grid Reference: SU 62976 60431, SU 63190 60945, SU 63650 61440


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

Reasons for Designation

The Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum, Silchester, is in open country and therefore one of the small number of Roman town sites where subsequent building has not obscured the origins and development of the site.

The bank and ditch, representing a stretch of Iron Age linear earthwork between Churchlane Copse and Early Bridge Copse, form part of the extensive complex of earthworks lying to the south and west of Calleva which is thought to be associated with the town's Iron Age precursor. These three sections of the earthwork survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument. They will also contribute to our understanding of territorial division and defence in the pre-Roman period.


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


The Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum, Silchester, began as a settlement in the pre-Roman Iron Age, when earthworks enclosing the site and dividing its environs were constructed. It was laid out anew as a Roman town in the first century AD, becoming a civitas capital or administrative centre, for the local people, the Atrebates. This monument, which falls into three areas, includes three sections of one of the linear earthworks, running south westwards from near Churchlane Copse, 400m south of the Roman town wall, to Early Bridge Copse, a distance of c.1.6km.

The northern section of this earthwork is c.512m long, the first 147m crossing a field which was once cultivated. Here the bank and ditch have been reduced and infilled respectively by ploughing but are visible as a change in slope. The bank has a maximum height of 1.2m above the ditch, which is occasionally visible as a very shallow depression east of the bank. The bank rises only slightly above the general ground level to the west and is up to 17m wide. The remainder of the northern section of the earthwork forms a modern field boundary and public footpath, ending at Byes Lane. The bank here has a maximum width of 12m and is up to 1.4m high, although usually less. A narrow modern ditch runs on the line of the earlier ditch, which is represented by a slight slope at the edge of the field east of the boundary. The bank becomes irregular to the south, with low ridges either side of a central trough. The well-preserved central section, c.215m long, is south of Byes Lane. The bank is up to 14m wide and rises up to 1.2m above ground level to the west and 2m above the base of the ditch. The higher ground to the east gives the ditch a maximum depth of 3m on that side. The southern end of the feature terminates abruptly on steeper ground north of the Silchester Brook.

The southern section of the earthwork is c.126m long and is at the eastern edge of Early Bridge Copse. The bank here has been almost levelled, and is nowhere more than 0.2m above ground level at the west. The ditch, the base of which is cut by a modern ditch just to the east of the wood, falls to a maximum depth of 2m below the bank and is up to 9m wide. All fences, stiles, gates and associated posts are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 24335

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing