This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Group of medieval strip lynchets at Knitson Farm

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: Group of medieval strip lynchets at Knitson Farm

List entry Number: 1019950


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

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Langton Matravers

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 29-Jan-1959

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Nov-2001

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 33193

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

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

Reasons for Designation

Strip lynchets provide distinctive indications of medieval cultivation. They occur widely in southern and south eastern England, and represent prominent features on the Wessex chalkland. Strip lynchets, which are characterised by the presence of terraces known as `treads' and scarps known as `risers', can vary in length, with some examples exceeding 200m, many systems include groups of three lynchets, while others are known to contain six or more. The group of medieval strip lynchets at Knitson Farm are well-preserved and represent part of the open field system associated with the medieval settlement at Knitson. The twin alignment of the lynchets at right angles to one another along the same slope represents an unusual feature. The lynchets will provide an important insight into the medieval farming practices of the area. They are well documented and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


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


The monument includes a group of medieval strip lynchets situated on a south-facing slope at Knitson Farm. The lynchets, which now survive across an area of about 2ha, include a series of cultivation terraces which were produced by medieval ploughing. The lynchets developed as a result of the plough cutting into the upper edge of the slope and the resulting material being deposited along the downslope edge of the terrace. The surviving earthworks include two main components: scarps or `risers' and the terraces or `treads'. The strip lynchets at Knitson occur upon two alignments set at right angles to one another. To the west, a group of three lynchets are aligned north-south against the gradient of the slope. Here the lynchets include treads 100m long, between 8m to 20m wide with risers between about 1m to 1.5m high. To the east, another group of three lynchets are aligned east-west along the slope. These treads are 180m long, between 5m to 25m wide, with risers between about 1m to 1.5m high. The lynchets accord with the pattern of fields illustrated in a Tithe Map of 1841. They originally formed part of a more extensive medieval field system, which is known from aerial photographic evidence to have extended over an area of about 36ha, although much of this has since been reduced by ploughing. Excluded from the scheduling are all gate and fence posts which relate to the modern field boundaries, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Mention Tithe Map,

National Grid Reference: SZ 00652 80828


© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1019950 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 22-Sep-2018 at 09:54:12.

End of official listing