Linear earthworks forming part of a field system on Bishop's Cannings Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013233

Date first listed: 09-Aug-1957

Date of most recent amendment: 13-Sep-1995


Ordnance survey map of Linear earthworks forming part of a field system 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 05655 66557


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

Reasons for Designation

The landscape around Avebury contains a wide range of archaeological monuments belonging to the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods and part has accordingly been included in the World Heritage Site designation. The later archaeology of this landscape is also considered to be of importance, illustrating the ways in which communities through time have both used it but also continued to respect and recognise many of its original features. The linear earthworks on Bishop's Cannings Down represent part of the medieval use of the landscape. Although this is just a fragmentary survival of what was originally a more extensive field system, and itself has been reduced by later cultivation, it will retain 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 linear earthwork representing the remains of a field system situated on Bishop's Cannings Down, considered to be medieval in date. The earthworks include a linear bank and ditch running c.550m from north east to south west before turning at a right angle to run south east for a further 90m. The bank, which has been reduced by cultivation, measures c.6m wide and stands up to 0.2m high. Beyond the bank to the west, lies the ditch which has become infilled over the years. This is visible on aerial photographs and survives as a c.5m wide feature. The ditch and bank are cut by two gaps on the north western side which appear to be original field entrances at least 15m wide. The field system originally extended for a much greater area over the Down, and elements of it appear as faint traces on aerial photographs. A square enclosure to the south of this surviving section of the field system is believed to be a contemporary medieval animal enclosure. This is the subject of a separate scheduling. Excluded from the scheduling are the post and wire boundary fences which cross the earthwork, although the ground beneath 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: 21870

Legacy System: RSM


AM 676, County List of Scheduled Monuments: Wiltshire, (1992)
Concerning length of landuse etc., JEFFERY, P.P., Discussion with Mr Frearson, occupier, (1994)
SU 06 NE 093, R.C.H.M.(E), Linear feature, (1973)
SU 06 NE 766 (Ordnance Survey base), C.A.O., SMR Map 1:10,000, (1980)

End of official listing