Romano-British settlement on Winterbourne Stoke Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015222

Date first listed: 18-Apr-1955

Date of most recent amendment: 31-Jan-1997


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British settlement on Winterbourne Stoke Down
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This copy shows the entry on 24-Jan-2019 at 09:27:58.


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

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Winterbourne Stoke

National Grid Reference: SU 08938 42452


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

Reasons for Designation

The most complete and extensive survival of chalk downland archaeological remains in central southern England occurs on Salisbury Plain. These remains represent one of the few extant archaeological `landscapes' in Britain and are considered to be of special significance because they differ in character from those in other areas with comparable levels of preservation. Individual sites on Salisbury Plain are seen as being additionally important because the evidence of their direct association with each other survives so well. Romano-British villages surviving as earthworks are rare nationally, as are any associations with contemporary field systems or other landholdings. The importance of the example on Winterbourne Stoke Down is considerably enhanced by the demonstrable relationship between the settlements, field systems and major boundary earthworks which provide unusually complete evidence of human reorganisation of the landscape. The remains of the Romano-British settlement on Winterbourne Stoke Down are well preserved and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. Linear earthworks, which may have functioned as boundaries or as trackways providing communications between individual settlements and linking occupation areas with their fields, are well represented in the Salisbury Plain area. The linear earthwork which linked the two areas of settlement on Winterbourne Stoke Down survives comparatively well in places and has the potential to provide valuable information relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. Well preserved field systems are rare nationally. They provide important evidence of a carefully planned reorganisation of the landscape and definition of landholdings. The field system around the area of the settlement on Winterbourne Stoke Down survives well despite erosion of its margins by cultivation. The well preserved earthworks show a clear relationship with those of the Romano-British settlement. The earthwork enclosure on Winterbourne Stoke will provide important evidence of land use in the medieval period and of its relationship with the settlement and the surrounding field system.


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


The monument includes a Romano-British settlement, a square earthwork enclosure which overlies the settlement, a length of linear earthwork, part of a field system and a dew pond. All are situated on a south facing slope of Winterbourne Stoke Down, south of the A360 Shrewton to Salisbury Road. The area of settlement includes the substantial earthwork remains of rectangular house platforms associated with lynchets which run across the slope. The southern part of the settlement is overlain by a square earthwork enclosure which has a bank 3m wide and 0.5m high together with a shallow outer ditch. This has been interpreted as a medieval stock pen. The western side of this enclosure reuses the bank of a linear boundary earthwork which is included in the scheduling. This earthwork, which survives here as a low bank with an associated shallow ditch, is part of a more extensive feature linking this area of settlement with another some 750m to the north. A further extant section of this linear earthwork c.350m northwards is part of a separate scheduling. The section of the linear earthwork which lies between these two schedulings has been levelled by cultivation and disturbed by military activity and is no longer considered to be of national importance. Also included in the scheduling is part of a field system which lies to the east, west and south of the main settlement area. Here it survives as a series of parallel lynchets which extend 110m eastwards from the western boundary of the settlement and for approximately 90m from its eastern limits. Beyond this further traces of field system are visible on aerial photographs but can no longer be recognised on the ground and are not included in the scheduling. A dew pond, or reservoir is also included in the scheduling. This is situated just north of the main focus of settlement and is formed by steep banks on the east, west and south sides and a lower bank on the north side. The south bank utilises part of a lynchet which lies at right angles to the linear boundary earthwork. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling 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: 28943

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 127
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 159
Cunnington, M E, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, , Vol. 45, (1930), 209

End of official listing