A linear earthwork north east of West Woodyates Manor: part of the `Bokerley Line'


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012138

Date first listed: 07-Aug-1996


Ordnance survey map of A linear earthwork north east of West Woodyates Manor: part of the `Bokerley Line'
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2018 at 19:10:42.


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

County: Dorset

District: East Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Pentridge

National Grid Reference: SU 02343 19898


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

Reasons for Designation

Martin Down and the surrounding area contain a variety of well-preserved archaeological remains, largely because the area has been unaffected by modern agriculture and development. This variety of site types and the quality of their preservation are relatively unusual in the largely arable landscapes of central southern England. Bokerley Dyke probably originated in the Bronze Age or Early Iron Age. It was an important political and cultural boundary dividing areas with markedly different patterns of land division. Once established, the dyke remained in use, adapted and remodelled to suit the needs of later periods. These included the more defensive requirements of the later Iron Age and Roman periods and it was possibly then that the dyke became the focus of the associated series of earthworks making up the `Bokerley Line'. The dyke continued in use after the cessation of Roman administration and still forms part of the boundary between the counties of Hampshire and Dorset. Bokerley Dyke and the archaeology of the surrounding area were recently the subject of a detailed survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. The linear earthwork north east of West Woodyates Manor forms an integral part of the `Bokerley Line'. Despite being levelled, the infilled ditch of the earthwork and features underneath the bank will survive, containing archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction and use of the monument.


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


The monument includes a levelled linear earthwork, part of the `Bokerley Line', a series of earthworks associated with and augmenting the western end of Bokerley Dyke. The earthwork is between 25m and 60m south of another component of the `Bokerley Line' and c.114m south of the western end of Bokerley Dyke itself, both of which are the subject of separate schedulings. Of probable Iron Age or Roman date, the earthwork may have been associated with attempts to prevent incursion into what is now Dorset by blocking routes from the north, east and west. The earthwork, which lies west of the lane between Woodyates and Cobley, runs broadly from west to east, obliquely crossing the line of a very shallow dry valley. The infilled ditch, which is visible on the ground and on aerial photographs as soil- and crop-marks, is c.264m long and has a maximum width of c.20m. Recent Ordnance Survey maps show the ditch to have had a bank up to 8m wide, now levelled, at its southern 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: 25620

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing