Square earthwork enclosure 450m north west of Baltic Farm on Morgan's Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014032

Date first listed: 10-Nov-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Feb-1996


Ordnance survey map of Square earthwork enclosure 450m north west of Baltic Farm on Morgan's Hill
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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 04006 67040


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

Reasons for Designation

Earthen enclosures provide evidence of land use and agricultural practices in the prehistoric and Romano-British period, although later examples are also known. They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop growing and were sometimes subdivided to provide temporary accommodation for stock, farmers or herdsmen. The size and form of enclosures may vary considerably depending on their particular function. Their variation in form, longevity and their relationship to other monument classes, including extensive field systems, provide information on the diversity and social organisation and farming practices through the period of their use. Twelve examples are recorded in the Avebury area, which acted as a focus for ceremonial and ritual activity during at least the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age periods. Later the area was settled mostly by agricultural communities, with the area intensively farmed through to the medieval period and beyond. The enclosures in the Avebury area are central to understanding the character of this development. All surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The enclosure 450m north west of Baltic Farm survives well and is known from part excavation and aerial photographs to include below ground remains which will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and the landscape in which it was built. This is the largest example of its type in the Avebury area.


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


The monument includes a roughly square earthwork enclosure situated 450m north west of Baltic Farm on Morgan's Hill 130m north of the Wansdyke. The enclosure is aligned on an east west axis and is surrounded by a bank c.3m wide and up to 0.6m high. Beyond this lies a c.4m wide quarry ditch which remains open to a depth of 1m in places. The whole is surrounded by a low counter-scarp bank c.2m wide and up to 0.4m high. The area enclosed measures c.180m square and covers about 3.25ha. The earthworks are more or less continuous around the whole circuit but three entrances, c.8m wide, are located in the south west corner, just south of the north west corner and roughly midway along the western side. It is not possible to determine how many of these are original. No longer visible at ground level, but clearly seen on aerial photographs, is a roughly oval levelled bank which is aligned east-west. It is located in the central southern half of the enclosure. This bank is c.10m wide and encloses an area 40m from east-west by c.25m from north-south. Part excavation in 1909 recovered a quantity of medieval pottery from the surface of the monument but no datable finds related to its original construction. Excluded from the scheduling are the post and wire fences which run along the southern and part of the eastern sides of the enclosure bank, although the ground beneath 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: 21899

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'A HISTORY OF WILTSHIRE' in Earthwork Enclosures, , Vol. 1,1, (1957), 262
SU 06 NW 455 SMR special file, C.A.O., AER 1712-3;C/772, (1974)
SU 06 NW WANSDYKE LINEAR, R C H M (E), Wansdyke, (1974)
SU06NW 455, C.A.O., Square earthwork enclosing 9 acres, (1994)

End of official listing