Section of Battery Bank on Stokeford Heath


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016270

Date first listed: 09-Mar-1961

Date of most recent amendment: 23-Dec-1997


Ordnance survey map of Section of Battery Bank on Stokeford Heath
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Feb-2019 at 18:36:35.


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

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck (District Authority)

Parish: East Stoke

National Grid Reference: SY 86652 88312

Reasons for Designation

The Battery Bank, of which this monument forms a part, is made up of a series of linear earthworks which extend discontinuously over a total distance of approximately 5.5km. The earthworks are aligned along the plateau dividing the rivers Piddle and Frome. Although not firmly dated, the monument is likely to be of Romano-British or Dark Age date; and given the wide gaps in its alignment, demarcation is perhaps a more likely interpretation for the bank, than stock control or defence. The name `Battery Bank' is likely to be a misnomer, relating to the Napoleonic period when the bank may have had a role in military training exercises. As a well preserved monument representing Dark Age or earlier land division, the Battery Bank is a comparatively unusual survival, and consequently all surviving sections are considered to be of national importance. This section survives particularly well, its location illustrating clearly the topographic setting into which the monument was placed. Boggy ground at the east end of the monument should ensure the preservation of waterlogged deposits.


The monument includes a section of the linear boundary known as the Battery Bank, situated on Stokeford Heath, a plateau overlooking the Frome Valley to the south and the Piddle Valley to the north. The earthwork forms part of a group of similar monuments which extend (discontinuously) for a distance of 5.5km along the natural ridge separating these valleys. The earthwork includes a linear bank, aligned broadly east-west, composed of earth, sand and turf, with maximum dimensions of 230m in length, 6m in width and approximately 0.45m in height. To the north of the bank is a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. To the east and at intermittent central points, the ditch is visible as an earthwork 4m-5m in width and approximately 0.3m-0.4m deep. Elsewhere, the ditch has become infilled but will survive as a buried feature.

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: 28336

Legacy System: RSM


Comp with Bokerley Dyke/Coombe Ditch, RCHME, National Monuments Record,
Earthworks not certainly linked, RCHME, National Monuments Record,
Forms part of 'Battery Bank', RCHME, National Monuments Record,
Group of uncertain date, RCHME, National Monuments Record,
RCHME, National Monuments Record,
Rel of two groups uncertain, RCHME, National Monuments Record,

End of official listing