Field system on Codford Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017303

Date first listed: 11-Feb-2000


Ordnance survey map of Field system on Codford Down
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Dec-2018 at 16:51:25.


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

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Codford

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Upton Lovell

National Grid Reference: ST 96674 42748


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

Reasons for Designation

Regular aggregate field systems date from the Bronze Age (2000-700 BC) to the end of the fifth century AD. They usually cover areas of up to 100ha and comprise a discrete block of fields orientated in roughly the same direction, with the field boundaries laid out along two axes set at right angles to one another. Individual fields generally fall within the 0.1ha-3.2ha range and can be square, rectangular, long and narrow, triangular or polygonal in shape. The field boundaries can take various forms (including drystone walls or reaves, orthostats, earth and rubble banks, pit alignments, ditches, fences and lynchets) and follow straight or sinuous courses. Component features common to most systems include entrances and trackways, and the settlements or farmsteads from which people utilised the fields over the years have been identified in some cases. These are usually situated close to or within the field system. The development of field systems is seen as a response to the competition for land which began during the later prehistoric period. The majority are thought to have been used mainly for crop production, evidenced by the common occurrence of lynchets resulting from frequent ploughing, although rotation may also have been practised in a mixed farming economy. Regular aggregate field systems occur widely and have been recorded in south western and south eastern England, East Anglia, Cheshire, Cumbria, Nottinghamshire, North and South Yorkshire and Durham. They represent a coherent economic unit often utilised for long periods of time and can thus provide important information about developments in agricultural practices in a particular location and broader patterns of social, cultural and environmental change over several centuries. Those which survive well and/or which can be positively linked to associated settlements are considered to merit protection.

The regular aggregate field system on Codford Down survives well and is an excellent example of a type of land use which once covered this entire area. This section is one of the few areas to have survived as unploughed downland during and since World War II.


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


The monument includes a regular aggregate field system situated in a small dry valley cut into Upper Chalk on Codford Down, a promontory on the southern edge of Salisbury Plain. The field system spans both sides of the valley bottom and is orientated from east to west. It comprises a series of small rectangular fields covering an area of 35ha, defined by lynchets up to 1.5m high. Aerial photographs show that this section of field system was once part of a much larger system which covered the whole of Codford Down. Much of this surrounding area was ploughed under conditions imposed during World War II. All fence posts and cattle troughs 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: 33522

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing