Enclosed Iron Age farmstead 450m south of Down Barn on Bishop's Cannings Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013230

Date first listed: 09-Aug-1957

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Sep-1995


Ordnance survey map of Enclosed Iron Age farmstead 450m south of Down Barn on Bishop's Cannings Down
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Bishops Cannings

National Grid Reference: SU 06448 66939


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

Reasons for Designation

The size and form of Iron Age enclosed settlements vary considerably from single farmsteads up to large semi-urban oppida. Farmsteads are generally represented by curvilinear enclosures containing evidence of a small group of circular domestic buildings and associated agricultural structures. Where excavated, these sites are also found to contain storage pits for grain and other produce, evidence of an organised and efficient farming system. The surrounding enclosures would have provided protection against cattle rustling and tribal raiding. In central southern England, most enclosed Iron Age farmsteads are situated in areas which are now under intensive arable cultivation. As a result, although some examples survive with upstanding earthworks, the majority have been recorded as crop- and soil-marks appearing on aerial photographs.

The enclosed Iron Age farmstead on Bishop's Cannings Down survives in the form of both buried and upstanding remains: the enclosure ditch is visible on aerial photographs while the bank remains upstanding despite reduction in its height caused by cultivation. The enclosure is situated close to the Wansdyke which is believed to be of similar date. Such a relationship will provide evidence of land ownership and management during the Iron Age period.


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


The monument includes a quadrilateral enclosed farmstead, believed to be of Iron Age date, situated 450m south of Down Barn on Bishop's Cannings Down. The earthwork has a single bank and ditch enclosing an area measuring 100m from north to south and 70m from east to west. Although largely reduced by cultivation, the bank can be defined as a slight earthwork. The ditch has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature c.2.5m wide which can be seen on aerial photographs.

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: 21867

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'A History of Wiltshire' in Gazeteer of Sites, , Vol. 1, 1, (), 262
SU 06 NE 091, R.C.H.M.(E), Enclosure, (1973)
SU 06 NE Ordnance Survey base, C.A.O., SMR layer 1:10,000 Series, (1990)

End of official listing