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Sub-rectangular enclosure in Great Bradford Wood

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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Sub-rectangular enclosure in Great Bradford Wood

List entry Number: 1019731


630m south of No 3 Forewoods Common, Holt, Wiltshire

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


District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Holt

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 09-Apr-2001

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Apr-2017

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 34203

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

The monument includes a sub-rectangular enclosure, which is defined by an inner bank, ditch and outer bank. It is situated on a small rise of Oxford clay above the River Avon and is considered to date to late-prehistoric period, most likely between the Late-Bronze to Early-Iron Age.

Reasons for Designation

The late prehistoric enclosure at Great Bradford Wood is scheduled for the following principal reasons: * Survival: despite a pathway crossing the centre of the site, the enclosure survives well and its enclosing ditch and bank are visible as earthworks; * Rarity: in this lowland area it is a rare survival of late prehistoric site with earthwork remains; * Potential: associated buried remains will contain archaeological and environmental information which will provide evidence about the occupation and purpose of the site.


The enclosure at Great Bradford Wood was recorded in 1949 on an Ordnance Survey Record Card and was surveyed at 1:2500 scale in 1967. It is considered to be an enclosure of late-prehistoric date. It has been suggested that the presence of an outer bank may represent a later reuse of the Great Bradford Wood enclosure, possibly as a pound for livestock during the medieval period.

In 2001 the earthworks were found to correspond with other similar Late-Bronze Age settlement enclosures identified in southern downland areas of England. In particular it has been compared to settlement sites which have been identified in the past as falling into a typology known as Martin-Down enclosures (named after the example at Martin Down in Cranborne Chase, Dorset, excavated by Pitt Rivers in the late C19), however, this term is no longer in common use. The characteristics of such small prehistoric enclosures are sub-rectangular areas often covering less than 0.3ha, originally bounded by a low bank and/or fence with a surrounding ditch. Most have a single entrance, identified by a causeway over the ditch. Excavated examples have been found to contain circular structures, post holes, pits, hollows and burnt mounds, associated with fragments of querns, pottery, animal bones, charred grain, worked flint artefacts and metalwork. In some cases, they are associated with contemporary field systems.

The remains at Great Bradford Wood have not been subject to excavation. A nearby larger, square enclosure at Kingston Farm, to the NE, has been dated through development-led archaeological investigation (2013) to the Late-Bronze/ Early-Iron Age. During the National Archaeological Identification Survey Lowland Pilot Project in West Wiltshire (2013-15) the earthworks of the enclosure were transcribed from a low resolution (2m) lidar (laser-based remote-sensing method used to examine the surface of the Earth) derived image. This information revealed that the earthwork was located slightly to the W of its current depiction on Ordnance Survey maps.


PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: the monument includes a sub-rectangular enclosure, which is defined by an inner bank, ditch and outer bank. It is situated on a small rise of Oxford clay above the River Avon and is considered to date to late-prehistoric period, most likely between the Late-Bronze to Early-Iron Age.

DESCRIPTION: the sub-rectangular area measures c.29m by 26m internally. The inner bank is slight, 0.2m high and visible only on the N side. The ditch is 6.2m wide and 0.5m deep with well-defined edges, and the outer bank is up to 1m high and 3.4m wide. A modern track running SE to NW bisects the enclosure and is believed to have obscured the original entrance. A square depression in the NE corner of the inner bank may be a later pond.

The scheduling boundary includes 2m protective margin around the archaeological features considered to be essential for monument's support and protection.

Selected Sources

Environment Agency, 2005. Lidar, LIDAR ST86SW DTM 02-16-APR-2005
Wiltshire and Swindon Historic Environment Record : MWI2014 - ST86SW604 Enclosure, Great Bradford Wood
Historic England, National Archaeological Identification Survey: West Wiltshire Lowlands Pilot Project (2016)

National Grid Reference: ST8456460521


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This copy shows the entry on 19-Sep-2018 at 03:27:18.

End of official listing