Devil's ditch: boundary earthwork


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015434

Date first listed: 06-Mar-1990

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Jan-1997


Ordnance survey map of Devil's ditch: boundary earthwork
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Bulford

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Cholderton

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Figheldean

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Milston

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Tidworth

County: Hampshire

District: Test Valley (District Authority)

Parish: Shipton Bellinger

National Grid Reference: SU 21330 47793, SU 21744 46241, SU 21747 46066, SU 22136 44396


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, particularly in those areas lying within the Salisbury Plain Training Area. 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. Boundary earthworks which include linear earthworks, so called ranch boundaries, dykes and cross ridge dykes are particularly well preserved in the Salisbury Plain Training Area. They provide important evidence of prehistoric landholdings, land reorganisation and changing agricultural practices through time.


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


The monuments includes four sections of the `Devil's Ditch' boundary earthwork and two associated barrows. The earthwork is a Late Bronze Age or Iron Age boundary earthwork followed for much of its length by the Wiltshire/Hampshire county boundary. Its construction and/or survival vary greatly along its length. In places it is represented by a ditch flanked by two banks, elsewhere it is represented by a ditch alone. Much of the earthwork is wooded and there is localised damage by tracks. The northern section survives as a bank/ditch/bank c.20m wide; the central sections survive as a ditch occasionally with vague traces of a bank or banks; the southern section is heavily wooded and disturbed by tracks. The monument also includes two barrows associated with the `Devil's Ditch'. The northernmost barrow has an overall diameter of c.20m and is surrounded by a tree ring (SU 2128 4797). The southernmost bowl barrow has an overall diameter of 16m. The ditch and bank are probably a tree ring (SU 2129 4794). Both barrows are cut to the west by the `Devil's Ditch'.

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: 10202

Legacy System: RSM


Trust for Wessex Archaeology, (1987)
Wiltshire Library & Museum Service, (1987)

End of official listing