Medieval settlement remains at Overtown


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018274

Date first listed: 21-Apr-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Mar-1998


Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement remains at Overtown
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This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2018 at 18:26:25.


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

District: Swindon (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Wroughton

National Grid Reference: SU 15363 79497, SU 15596 79552


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

Reasons for Designation

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the East Wessex sub-Province of the south-eastern Province, an area in which settlement characteristics are shaped by strong contrasts in terrain. This is seen in the division between the chalk Downs, where chains of nucleated settlements concentrate in the valleys, and the Hampshire Basin, still dominated by the woodlands and open commons of the ancient New Forest, where nucleated sites are largely absent. Along the coastal strip extending into Sussex are more nucleations, while in Hampshire some coastal areas and inland valleys are marked by high densities of dispersed settlement, much of it post-medieval. The Berkshire Downs and Marlborough Downs local region is characterised by extremely low densities of dispersed settlements on the downland, with villages and dense `strings' of hamlets and farmsteads in the well-watered valleys. Modern settlements are interspersed with the earthworks of abandoned medieval settlement sites.

The medieval settlement remains at Overtown are a well preserved and rare example of a medieval settlement surviving as an earthwork on the Wiltshire chalkland.


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


The monument, which lies within two areas, includes medieval settlement remains located south of Overtown House and Overtown Manor. It occupies the northern edge of the lower chalk plateau, with views northwards across Swindon Hill towards the Thames Valley, and southwards towards the northern scarp of the upper chalk on the Marlborough Downs. The greater part of the monument lies to the south of Overtown House. Its principal feature is a clearly defined main street in the form of a hollow way, running for a distance of 200m on a north west-south east alignment. There are also indications of further streets running off at right angles from the hollow way. The street, which is up to 1.25m deep, is flanked by numerous house platforms surviving as earthworks ranging up to 1.5m in height. The monument extends westwards into a paddock south of Overton Manor, where the earthworks of further house platforms are visible. These earthworks extend south towards Parsloes' Farm, and stand to a height of approximately 1m. All water troughs, telegraph poles and fenceposts 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: 28959

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing