Section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch running east from the River Evenlode opposite Cornbury Park


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012902

Date first listed: 09-Apr-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Oct-1995


Ordnance survey map of Section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch running east from the River Evenlode opposite Cornbury Park
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1012902 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2018 at 16:40:40.


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

County: Oxfordshire

District: West Oxfordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Charlbury

National Grid Reference: SP 35949 18491


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

Reasons for Designation

The north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch is a series of discrete linear earthworks of Iron Age date which together make up at least one segmented circuit, situated between the valleys of the Rivers Evenlode, Glyme and Windrush in an area of the eastern Cotswolds. In recent years evidence for an outer concentric circuit has come to light, largely from the study of cropmarks visible on aerial photographs. The area enclosed by the inner circuit is 12 sq km and the outer circuit encloses between 60 and 70 sq km. The earthworks which define this area were only built in open country leaving apparent gaps in the areas previously forested. Where visible, the Grim's Ditch always includes a rampart of dumped earth and stone, a berm and outer ditch and, in places, a narrow palisade trench beyond. It is believed that, together, these components served to enclose and divide an area of land and provide control over access through the open country which existed between heavily forested areas. The ditch is Iron Age in date and provides evidence of how the landscape was managed and divided in the period immediately prior to the Roman Conquest. The high concentration of sites representing Iron Age ritual and agricultural activity which occur within the area defined by the ditch confirms the view that it served to define an area which was of particular significance to its builders. All sections surviving as visible earthworks, and sections identified by aerial photography which are integral to a general understanding of the nature and extent of Grim's Ditch, will normally merit statutory protection.

This section of Grim's Ditch east of the River Evenlode survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and the landscape in which it was built. Its riverside location is conducive to the survival of waterlogged deposits.


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


The monument includes a section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch situated adjacent to the River Evenlode, east of Cornbury Park. The ditch and rampart run from north east to south west for a distance of 200m. The eastern end has been destroyed by the line of the Charlbury to Witney road and landscaping beyond it to the east. The extreme western end of the section was destroyed by the railway cutting (now disused) which runs parallel to the River Evenlode. The surviving section includes an earthwork bank 6m wide and up to 1m high. Beyond the bank, to the south, lies a parallel ditch c.6m wide which has become infilled over the years but remains visible as a slight depression at ground level, clearly visible on aerial photographs. This is separated from the rampart by a c.4m wide berm. Until the late 1970's the bank formed a field boundary on which a thorn hedge stood. The fields have now been turned into one and the hedge removed.

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: 21838

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Copeland, T, 'Oxoniensia' in The North Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch : A Fieldwork Survey, , Vol. 1984, (1984), 289
PRN 8911, C.A.O., Grim's Ditch, (1989)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SP 31 NE

End of official listing