145m section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch situated 200m west of Grimsdyke Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012905

Date first listed: 09-Apr-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Oct-1995


Ordnance survey map of 145m section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch situated 200m west of Grimsdyke Farm
© 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 - 1012905 .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 13-Nov-2018 at 15:43:01.


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

National Grid Reference: SP 40562 21575


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.

Despite reduction by cultivation, the section of Grim's Ditch west of Grimsdyke Farm will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and the landscape in which it was built. This section occupies the north eastern corner of the ditch system.


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


The monument includes a short section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch situated 200m west of Grimsdyke Farm. The ditch runs from west to east down a gentle slope before forming the north eastern turn of the ditch system. Here it probably abutted the edge of a contemporary wood. This section of the monument includes a 5m wide rampart. This originally stood c.1.5m high but has been reduced by cultivation to a low stone spread visible as a slight rise in an arable field c.0.2m high. It is known from excavation and aerial photographs that a 1.5m wide berm lies to the north of this, separating the rampart from a 5.8m wide and 1.5m deep ditch. This ditch was originally open but it has become infilled over the years and now survives below the modern ploughsoil. From evidence recovered on other sections of the Grim's Ditch, it is known that a palisade trench 0.5m wide and c.0.2m deep is situated c.3.75m north of the outside edge of the ditch. This would have contained a wooden fence or palisade c.1m high which would have added to the defences and prevented cattle and other stock from falling into the ditch.

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: 21849

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Copeland, T, 'Oxoniensia' in The North Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch : A Fieldwork Survey, (1984), 289-
Harden, D B, 'Oxoniensia' in Excavations On The North Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch 1935-6, (1939), 77-
Title: Ordnance Survey 1st Edition Source Date: 1833 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 6" Series
Vertical, R.C.H.M.(E), RAF SP$'SW; FAS 6125 / 12.038, (1840)

End of official listing