Lynchets 850m west of Ridgeway Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016327

Date first listed: 08-Dec-1997


Ordnance survey map of Lynchets 850m west of Ridgeway Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Swindon (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Bishopstone

National Grid Reference: SU 24177 82474, SU 24378 82537


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

Reasons for Designation

Strip lynchets provide distinctive indications of medieval cultivation. They occur widely in southern and south eastern England, and are prominent features on the Wessex chalkland. Each lynchet or terrace has two components, consisting of a scarp or `riser' and flat strip or `tread'. They can be up to 200m in length, and whilst many systems include only two or three lynchets, some have five, six or more - as in the present case. The strip lynchet system at Bishopstone is in excellent condition and is a good example of its type. Small scale excavation has indicated that the monument contains archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


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


The monument, which lies in two separate areas, includes two groups of medieval strip lynchets. They are situated 850m west of Ridgeway Farm in an elevated location close to the Ridgeway, at the upper end of a dry valley which runs down to the village of Bishopstone. The site has extensive views northwards across the village and beyond that across the Upper Thames Valley. The smaller and more westerly group of lynchets is oriented north-south and located at the top of the valley. It consists of four risers and treads - the scarps and platforms of such systems - and is 150m in length. The larger group, some 50m to the east, contains eight sets of risers and treads, and is 260m in length. It occupies a distinctive location on the steep north-facing side of the dry valley, making the earthworks visible over a considerable area. Small scale excavation in 1954 and 1955 revealed details of the development of the system, together with samples of environmental evidence. A related group of lynchets survive on land flanking the southern margin of the valley, but this group has been altered by post-medieval or recent ploughing and has not been included in the scheduling. 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 28982

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Wood, P, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Strip Lynchets at Bishopstone, near Swindon, Wilts, , Vol. 56, (1956), 12-18
Wood, P, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Second Excavation of Strip Lynchets at Bishopstone, , Vol. 57, (1958), 18-23

End of official listing