King Lud's Intrenchments and adjacent barrow


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. 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 - 1013184.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 09-Jul-2020 at 02:00:01.


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

Melton (District Authority)
Croxton Kerrial
Melton (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SK 86517 27963

Reasons for Designation

Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used later. The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries in the landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age; all well preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.

The linear monument known as King Lud's Intrenchments is considered to be part of a larger boundary system. This may have been of Bronze Age date and part of the so called `Jurassic spine'. Alternatively, the monument could also have been of a later date, though prior to the mid 12th century. Earthwork remains of boundary systems of either date are rare in the Midlands. Associated with the linear monument is a Bronze Age barrow cemetery, of which one barrow is known to survive in good condition. It lies in close proximity to the linear monument, in an important position for establishing the relationship between these two groups of sites.


The site known as King Lud's Intrenchments is situated on the parish boundaries of Sproxton and Croxton Kerrial in north eastern Leicestershire, adjoining its boundary with Lincolnshire. The monument includes the earthworks and below ground features of a linear bank and ditch system, and a barrow. The linear bank and ditch system is contained within two long spinneys known as Cooper's Plantation to the west and Egypt Plantation to the east, with a small section beneath a road near the centre of the site. The banks and ditches contained within the 1387m long constraint area are aligned east-west and are an average of 20m wide. Earthworks exist within Cooper's Plantation for a distance of 750m and include three parallel banks separated by two ditches. The ditches are up to 1.5m deep and an average of 8m wide and the banks are up to 0.5m high. An excavated section of the ditches has shown that the southern ditch is `V' shaped in profile and the northern ditch `U' shaped. World War II airfield buildings have modified the banks in the eastern part of Cooper's Plantation, but the ditches will survive as below ground features both in this area and beneath the road. There are slight earthworks of the ditches and banks above ground in Egypt Plantation, which have also been modified by wartime activity and by quarrying. Below ground remains of the ditches will be retained in this area. A single bank, situated to the north of a disused quarry, is up to 0.75m high and 8m wide and has slight remains of a ditch on its northern side. The line of the monument is followed by a parish boundary throughout its entire length. On the eastern side the intrenchments join a prehistoric trackway known as Sewstern Lane. The bank and ditch system was probably constructed to define a boundary in the landscape. The bank and ditch system lies adjacent to a Bronze Age barrow cemetery, originally containing at least twelve barrows. Only one barrow is known to survive today and is situated immediately to the south of the line of the linear earthworks within Egypt Plantation. This barrow is included in the scheduling. The barrow measures about 25m in diameter and 1.5m high with no visible surrounding ditch. A hollow in the centre of the barrow is the result of an excavation by Bateman in 1860. The site of a second barrow, also opened by Bateman, lies to the south of Egypt Plantation. It was completely excavated in 1978 and is not a part of the revised scheduling. King Lud's Intrenchments have long been considered to be of Saxon origin and identified with Ludeca of Mercia. The first documentary reference to the site appears in a charter of Croxton Abbey dated 1162. Recent work with aerial photographs has suggested, however, that the monument may be part of an extensive prehistoric boundary system stretching from Northamptonshire to the Humber which has been termed `the Jurassic spine'. Kind Lud's Intrenchments are aligned at right angles to the main components of this system. Most of the remaining stretches of this boundary system only survive today as crop marks. Excluded from the scheduling are all World War II features and the modern road surface, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Liddle, P, Leicestershire Archaeology: The Present State of Knowledge, (1982)
Pickering, J, Hartley, R F, Past Worlds in a Landscape, (1985)
Pickering, J, The Jurassic Spine, (1978)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].