Linear earthwork on Wareham Common, 350m north west and 420m north east of Little Farm


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


Ordnance survey map of Linear earthwork on Wareham Common, 350m north west and 420m north east of Little Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 25-May-2019 at 05:53:21.


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

Purbeck (District Authority)
Wareham Town
National Grid Reference:
SY 90738 87405, SY 91161 87445

Reasons for Designation

The linear earthwork on Wareham Common, 330m north west of Little Farm forms part of a group of similar features which extend across the ridge separating the Frome and Piddle Valleys. The earthwork on Wareham Common is distinct in that it is aligned along a terrace of the River Piddle and situated at the foot of a ridge. Although not firmly dated, the earthworks are likely to be of Late Prehistoric or Romano-British date. They are generally regarded as a series of trackways which are likely to have related to stock control rather than to delineation or defence. Despite some reduction of the earthwork near to the eastern end and truncation by a railway embankment, the linear earthwork on Wareham Common generally survives well and is known from partial excavation to contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


The monument, which falls into two areas, includes a linear earthwork aligned east west, situated on Wareham Common at the eastern end of a ridge separating the Frome and Piddle Valleys. The earthwork occurs to the north east of two similar linear features and a dispersed round barrow cemetery, all of which are the subject of separate schedulings. The earthwork runs for a total distance of about 825m, although a 50m length has been removed by the construction of a railway embankment 100m from the eastern end. The earthwork consists of a pair of banks composed of earth, gravel and sand, with maximum dimensions of between 5m to 8m in width and about 0.45m to about 0.65m in height. The banks flank a depression 4.5m wide and about 0.5m deep. To the west of the railway embankment, the earthwork has been reduced in height for a length of about 90m. This relates to the construction of rifle butts during 1914-18 and, later, to agricultural activity during the mid- 1950s. In 1956, the earthwork was investigated during the construction of a water pipe trench. The ditch was found to survive and to be of a `U'-shaped or flat-bottomed form, with dimensions of 2.7m in width and about 1.2m in depth.

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
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 516-7
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 516-7
Mention profile of ditch,
Possible extension of earthwork, RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset, As above, (1970)


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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