The western of two rectangular enclosures on Great Litchfield Down, SSW of Ladle Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012037

Date first listed: 15-Mar-1949

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Sep-1995


Ordnance survey map of The western of two rectangular enclosures on Great Litchfield Down, SSW of Ladle Hill
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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: Litchfield and Woodcott

National Grid Reference: SU 47555 56380

Reasons for Designation

Small enclosed settlements dating from the Middle Bronze Age are often associated with earlier field systems and are known on some sites to have replaced earlier unenclosed settlements. Enclosures of both sub-rectangular and curvilinear plan are known; the sites are wholly or partly surrounded by a ditch, bank or palisade, or by a combination or succession of all three. Where excavated, sites have usually been found to contain a small group of domestic buildings sufficient for a single or extended family group, although a few larger enclosures are known. Evidence of a succession of buildings has been found on some sites. The buildings are usually circular in plan but occasional rectangular structures are known. Both types of building would have provided a combination of living accommodation and storage or working areas. Storage pits have been recorded inside buildings on some sites but are generally rarely present. In addition to pottery and worked flint, large quantities of burnt stone and metal working debris have been found in some enclosures. Although the precise figure is not known, many small enclosed settlements are located on the chalk downland of southern England. As a class they are integral to understanding Bronze Age settlement and land use strategies, while their often close proximity to the numerous burial monuments in the area will provide insights into the relationship between secular and ceremonial activity during the Middle Bronze Age. A small number of small enclosed settlements survive on downland as visible earthworks; the majority, however, occur in areas of more intensive cultivation and survive in buried form, visible only from the air as soil marks and crop marks. All examples with visible earthworks, and those in buried form which retain significant surviving remains, are considered to be of national importance.

Much of the archaeological landscape of Ladle Hill and the surrounding downs is preserved as earthworks or crop- or soil-marks, which together will provide a detailed understanding of the nature and development of agriculture, land use and settlement on the north Hampshire downs. The western enclosure on Great Litchfield Down is part of the wider distribution of monuments of Bronze Age and later date on the downs and will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction and use of the monument.


The monument includes the western of two rectangular enclosures of possible Bronze Age date on Great Litchfield Down. The enclosure is on the crest of a ridge running south west from Ladle Hill, c.100m west of the eastern enclosure. The square enclosure is most clearly defined by an irregular low bank, each side being c.28m in length, beyond which a band of dark soil marks the line of an infilled ditch. A second, outer, bank has been levelled but gives the enclosure overall dimensions of c.38m square. At its largest, at the north eastern side of the enclosure, the upstanding bank is up to 5m wide and has a maximum height of 0.4m. A 5m wide entrance occurs in the middle of the south eastern side.

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: 25615

Legacy System: RSM


Ordnance Survey, SU 45NE 18, (1956)

End of official listing