The Andyke, Bransbury
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1015678
Date first listed: 30-Nov-1925
Date of most recent amendment: 26-Mar-1997
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Test Valley (District Authority)
Parish: Barton Stacey
National Grid Reference: SU 42487 42797, SU 42614 42602
Reasons for Designation
Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or
multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between
less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features
visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The
evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that
their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although
they may have been re-used later.
The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were
constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries
in the landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of
their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious
associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those
groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance
for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age; all well
preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.
Although current understanding of the Andyke is incomplete, the earthworks will contain information relating to their construction and to the environment and economy of their period of use. In addition, the earthworks form a highly visible element of the historic landscape.
The monument, which falls into two areas, includes the Andyke, a substantial
earthwork over 530m in overall length, which cuts off a low peninsula between
the valleys of the River Test on the north and the River Dever (the Wonston
Stream) to the south. To the south of the A303 the earthwork includes a bank
up to 10m wide and 3m high which contains much flint within its make up. To
the east of this is a ditch up to 14m wide and 2m deep, on the eastern side of
which are traces of a low bank c.3m wide and up to 0.6m high. A single break
in the earthwork, north of its mid point, may mark the position of an entrance
designed to provide access to the area of the peninsula defined by it. At its
southern end, close to the floodplain of the River Dever, the ditch cannot be
traced south of the line of the east-west track from Bransbury. To the north
of the A303 the northern terminal of the earthwork is visible as a wide
depression, up to 15m wide and 2m deep which runs downslope towards the
valley of the River Test. Where not visible on the surface immediately
adjacent to the A303, the ditch will survive as a buried feature 15m wide.
The earthwork, which is refered to as `Auntediche' in an Anglo-Saxon charter, has previously been interpreted as the defences of an Iron Age promontory fort. Current understanding of the monument does not allow this interpretation to be verified and the scheduling is consequently restricted to the earthwork itself.
The line of the earthwork has been breached by the A303 which, at its point of intersection with the Andyke, is in a cutting sufficiently deep to have removed all archaeological deposits. The monument is consequently divided into two areas of protection, separated by the A303 cutting.
Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts 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: 26792
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Williams-Freeman, JP, Introduction to field archaeology as illustrated by Hampshire, (1915), 245-6
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing