Enclosed Iron Age farmstead immediately adjacent to The Croft, Pave Lane


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020275

Date first listed: 11-Oct-1979

Date of most recent amendment: 20-Jul-2001


Ordnance survey map of Enclosed Iron Age farmstead immediately adjacent to The Croft, Pave Lane
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 19:17:34.


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

District: Telford and Wrekin (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Chetwynd Aston and Woodcote

National Grid Reference: SJ 75626 16450


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

Reasons for Designation

The size and form of Iron Age enclosed settlements vary considerably from single farmsteads up to large semi-urban oppida. Farmsteads are generally represented by curvilinear enclosures containing evidence of a small group of circular domestic buildings and associated agricultural structures. Where excavated, these sites are also found to contain pits or rectangular post- built structures for the storage of grain and other produce, evidence of an organised and efficient farming system. The surrounding enclosures would have provided protection against cattle rustling and tribal raiding. In central and southern England, most enclosed Iron Age farmsteads are situated in areas which are now under intensive arable cultivation. As a result, although some examples survive with upstanding earthworks, the majority have been recorded as crop- and soil-marks appearing on aerial photographs.

Although the enclosed Iron Age farmstead at Pave Lane has been affected by later cultivation it remains a good example of this class of monument. Of the lowland Iron Age farmsteads recognised from the air in the West Midlands of England, multi-ditched enclosures are comparitively rare in relation to those settlements defined by one or two ditches.

At Pave Lane the archaeological investigation of the site, which included a limited excavation of the defences and the interior, has demonstrated that significant buried deposits survive here. The deposits within the enclosure ditches are waterlogged, and can be expected to preserve organic remains, which will provide evidence about the contemporary environment and the use of the surrounding land. The site also offers significant potential for the preservation of other contemporary organic remains, including structural timbers, artefacts and domestic refuse, providing a valuable insight into how a farming community lived in this area during the Iron Age.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of an enclosed Iron Age farmstead, situated in an area of undulating land next to a pronounced curvilinear gully and an adjoining bank, both of which are natural features of glacial origin. The enclosed farmstead was discovered during aerial reconnaissance, and it was the subject of a detailed archaeological investigation in 1990. This investigation included topographical and geophysical surveys of the site, undertaken to record the upstanding earthworks and to confirm the extent of the surviving buried features. This information was used, in conjunction with the evidence from aerial photographs, to provide an accurate plan of the defences forming the enclosure. Selective excavation was also carried out as part of this investigation.

The overall dimensions of the farmstead are about 160m north west - south east by 230m south west - north east. The internal area is pear-shaped and measures approximately 65m by 110m. It is defined by a bank, which has been reduced by ploughing and which now stands to a height of 0.2m. In front of this bank is a ditch about 4m wide, which has been infilled but survives as a buried feature. Around the northern half of the enclosure additional lines of defence were constructed and consist of two principal ditches, both about 4m wide, separated by banks. These outer ditches have also been infilled and survive as buried features, but ploughing has reduced the height of the banks which are no longer visible as earthworks. The natural gully was incorporated into the defensive circuit, and a ditch was dug along its base.

The principal entrance to the farmstead appears to have been from the south west, where there is a causeway, approximately 12m wide, flanked on either side by ditches which connect with the concentric ditches forming the enclosure. The partial archaeological excavation of the enclosure ditches has shown that they are all about 2m deep, with waterlogged deposits at their bases which contain organic remains. The pollen recovered from these deposits indicates that in the Iron Age the surrounding landscape was largely open grassland. The archaeological excavavion of part of the south western entrance revealed the well-preserved remains of a cobbled surface of probable Iron Age date. Geophysical survey also detected another possible entrance at the north eastern end of the site, surviving as a buried feature. Limited excavation within the interior found the remains of two curving gullies, thought possibly to be the eavesdrip gullies of roundhouses.

All fence posts and modern walls, the utilty poles, the polytunnels and the associated paths and paved areas, the oil storage container and the brick and concrete base on which it stands, together with the garage adjacent to The Croft are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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: 34908

Legacy System: RSM


Smith, G H, Chetwyn Aston SAM SA 352 CEU Site 455 Archaeol Assessment, (1990)

End of official listing