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Linear boundary on Bidcombe Down and Whitepits Down

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Linear boundary on Bidcombe Down and Whitepits Down

List entry Number: 1016904

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Kingston Deverill

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 10-Jan-2000

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 31685

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

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.

The linear boundary on Bidcombe Down and Whitepits Down survives well and is a good example of a late prehistoric linear boundary. It is one of a series of linear earthworks in this area which provide an important insight into the system of land division in the later prehistoric period.

History

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

Details

The monument, which falls into four areas of protection, includes a length of linear boundary earthwork and a dew pond situated on the south facing slope of a ridge of Middle Chalk, encompassing Cold Kitchen Hill, Whitecliff Down and Brimsdown Hill on the northern side of the Wylye valley. The monument runs approximately ESE-WNW for 2km, rising and dipping as it crosses four coombes cut into the scarp. At the base of these coombes there are breaks, interpreted as deliberate causeways. The area to the east comprises two roughly parallel linear features each consisting of a bank flanked to the north by a ditch. The upper ditch, to the north, is 3.25m wide and 0.75m deep and the bank is 5m wide and 0.75m high. The lower ditch is 4m wide and 0.75m deep while the bank is 4.5m wide and 0.75m high. At the eastern end of this area the two linear features are separated by a distance of 120m, but as they approach the first coombe they converge. West of this coombe they are cut by a disused quarry beyond which the upper bank and ditch continue. The lower bank and ditch have been reduced by post-medieval ploughing and emerge 225m to the west, 14m south of the upper earthwork. West of this, the lower bank and ditch terminate but resume 15m further to the south of the upper bank and ditch. There is a corresponding break in the upper bank and ditch. In the base of the third coombe is a dew pond 17m square and 1.7m deep with a slight bank 0.1m high on all sides. West of Hiscombe Wood, the character of the monument changes and for a section of 223m it comprises a single ditch 2.5m wide and 0.5m deep flanked on either side by banks each 7m wide and 1.5m high. This stretch is cut by a later track as it crosses a spur of the hillside. Beyond a fifth coombe there are a series of cattle droves climbing the spur. These are not however included in the scheduling. The monument is one of a number of linear features which survive on this ridge of chalk, all of which are the subjects of seperate schedulings. The area between the bank and ditch as well as the unploughed breaks within the smaller coombes are interpreted as integral parts of the monument and are therefore included in the scheduling. All fenceposts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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.

Selected Sources

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

National Grid Reference: ST 83071 38378, ST 83846 37977, ST 84435 37752, ST 84675 37626

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1016904 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2017 at 06:57:24.

End of official listing