380m section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch 200m ENE of Kiddington Lodge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012904

Date first listed: 09-Apr-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Oct-1995


Ordnance survey map of 380m section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch 200m ENE of Kiddington Lodge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Oxfordshire

District: West Oxfordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Kiddington with Asterleigh

County: Oxfordshire

District: West Oxfordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Spelsbury

National Grid Reference: SP 40074 21556


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.

The section of Grim's Ditch 200m ENE of Kiddington Lodge on Kiddington Drive survives well and, despite being cut by the later road, will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and the landscape in which it was built.


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


The monument includes a 380m long section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch running broadly east to west, 200m east of Kiddington Lodge. This section of Grim's Ditch includes a bank, berm, ditch and palisade ditch. The rampart bank has been cut by the drive from Ditchley House to Kiddington and a further track to the south west, but is otherwise visible as a continuous earthwork 5m wide and 1.5m high. To the north of the bank lies a 1.5m wide berm which separates the rampart from a 5.8m wide ditch, originally open to a depth of 1.5m. This ditch has become infilled where the tracks cut the bank and has accumulated a partial fill of silt along the remainder of the section. However, it is still visible as an open feature up to 0.7m deep. At a distance of c.3.75m beyond the outside edge of the ditch lies a narrow trench, no longer visible at ground level but known from excavation elsewhere to measure 0.5m wide and 0.2m deep. This will survive as a buried feature below the modern ground level. Originally, this narrow trench and the top of the rampart would have supported wooden palisade fences up to c.1m high. These would have provided an added element of the defensive system while also preventing cattle and other livestock from falling into the ditch. Excluded from the scheduling are the modern road surfaces and the post and wire fence bounding the eastern track, although the land beneath these features is included in the scheduling.

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: 21848

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Copeland, T, 'Oxoniensia' in The North Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch, (1984), 289, 1b
Harden, D B, 'Oxoniensia' in Excavations On The North Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch 1935-6, (1939), 77-
Title: 1:10000 Series Ordnance Survey Source Date: 1981 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SP 32 SE & SP 42 SW
Title: 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Source Date: 1833 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 6"

End of official listing