Romano-British enclosure and later hollow ways on Twyford Down


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Winchester (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SU 49126 26861

Reasons for Designation

Much of the archaeological landscape of Twyford Down and the surrounding area is preserved as earthworks or crop-marks and represents a relatively complete and extensive survival of chalk downland archaeological remains. Collectively, the sites indicate the importance of the area for settlement and agriculture since the Bronze Age and demonstrate the later importance of Twyford Down as a communications conduit for Winchester during the Roman and medieval periods. Individual sites in the area are seen as being additionally important because the evidence of their direct association with each other survives so well. Evidence for settlement and land use in the Romano-British period is provided by an enclosure. Such enclosures are usually associated with farmsteads comprising groups of circular or rectangular houses along with structures which may include wells, storage pits, corn-drying ovens and granary stores. They usually survive as low earthworks or buried features visible as crop and soil marks. Associated field systems, trackways and cemeteries may be located nearby. Often situated on marginal agricultural land and found throughout the British Isles, they date to the period of Roman occupation (c.AD 43-450). The Romano-British enclosure, in addition to the lynchets and hollow ways on Twyford Down survives well despite some disturbance by later landscaping. Partial excavation has shown that they retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to their original construction and subsequent use and that the significant remains of at least one substantial, late Roman building survive in the area. The use of the spur as a cart route identifies its importance as a conduit for transportation and communication during the medieval period.


The monument includes an earthwork enclosure, interpreted as containing a late Romano-British farmstead or villa, some associated lynchets and hollow ways, and a prolific series of later, sub-parallel hollow ways, probably of medieval or post-medieval date. They are situated on the Hockley Golf Course on a broad spur which projects to the south west from Twyford Down. The enclosure is situated on the west side of the monument and comprises a series of parallel banks and ditches partially enclosing a roughly triangular area of about 1.4ha. The earthworks are constructed in short, straight sections, joined at sharp angles at the corners. There is an original entrance on the north east side comprising a 14m gap, either side of which the banks are staggered by about 3m. A 1m high lynchet passes through the entrance on the north side and extends across the interior of the enclosure, dividing it into two broad terraces. Otherwise, the interior is level except where it has been substantially modified by the construction of two golf greens. On the west and south east sides, where the interior stands approximately 1m above the flanks of the spur, the earthworks survive as two low banks or steepened scarps separated by a shallow ditch or berm. The outer bank stands up to 0.4m above the exterior surface; the inner bank stands up to 1.2m above the ditch and 0.3m above the interior. On the north east side, across the spur crest, they survive as two low banks, about 0.3m high, separated by a ditch, approximately 0.4m deep, and flanked by a second outer ditch, also about 0.4m deep. A short section of a third bank and ditch extends inside these for 20m from the north west corner, and a hollow way curves around the outer ditch and extends beyond the area of protection to the west. There is a gap in the earthworks of about 100m on the south side, now partially disturbed by a golf green, although traces of the outer bank are discernible extending from the south east corner of the enclosure. Traces of shallow hollow ways or ditches extend across the spur further to the south. On the east side the enclosure is associated with two contemporary lynchets, one of which extends from the north east corner for approximately 230m along the flank of the spur. It is topped by a low bank, about 0.3m high and is flanked to the north along its full length by the second, parallel lynchet which forms a 20m wide terrace that partially extends around the enclosure to the west and south. Further discontinuous lynchets or low banks extending along the south east flank of the spur may or may not be associated with the enclosure. Roman pottery and roofing tiles recovered from within and immediately to the south of the enclosure in 1949 and 1954 and in 1991 have been dated exclusively to the 3rd or 4th century AD and indicate the presence of at least one substantial structure. The discovery of a piece of plain tesselated pavement in 1958 further indicates the use of the enclosure as a relatively high status farmstead or villa. The later use of the monument as a medieval or post-medieval cart route is indicated by a prolific series of at least 20 sub-parallel hollow ways which cross the monument to the north east, cutting some of the earlier lynchets and a deep section of earlier hollow way. They are most substantial, up to 1.5m deep, where they converge on the eastern flank of the spur and become shallower as they cross the spur and continue in the direction of a further series of hollow ways known as the Dongas situated 500m to the north west. All posts, signs, seats, shelters and golf course furniture 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. 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Winchester Museums Service, , Hockley Golf Club, Twyford, Winchester, Arch. Observations
Winchester Museums Service, , Hockley Golf Club, Twyford, Winchester, Arch. Observations
Stuart, J D, Birkbeck, J M, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in A Celtic Village on Twyford Down, excavated 1933-34, (1936), 188 190
Stuart, J D, Birkbeck, J M, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in A Celtic Village on Twyford Down, excavated 1933-34, (1936), 190


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

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