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Medieval settlement 750m north west of Knowlton

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: Medieval settlement 750m north west of Knowlton

List entry Number: 1020583


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

County: Dorset

District: East Dorset

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Gussage All Saints

County: Dorset

District: East Dorset

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Woodlands

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 05-Jul-2002

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 35212

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

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 last 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the West Wessex sub-Province of the Central Province, an area characterised by large numbers of villages and hamlets within countrysides of great local diversity, ranging from flat marshland to hill ridges. Settlements range from large, sprawling villages to tiny hamlets, a range extended by large numbers of scattered dwellings in the extreme east and west of the sub-Province. Cultivation in open townfields was once present, but early enclosure was commonplace. The physical diversity of the landscape was, by the time of Domesday Book in 1086, linked with great variations in the balance of cleared land and woodland.

The medieval settlement 750m north west of Knowlton is comparatively well-preserved as a series of earthwork remains and associated buried deposits which will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. Knowlton is also significant as the settlement associated with Knowlton Church which was unusually situated within a henge monument 550m to the north east. Knowlton represents one of two settlement sites which survive within the area (the other being Brockington) and, together, these will provide insight into local society and the economy of the area throughout the medieval period.


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


The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes the site of the medieval settlement remains at Knowlton, situated on the south eastern terrace of the River Allen, on Cranborne Chase. The settlement survives as a series of earthworks which extend over an area of 4ha and was surveyed by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England in 1975. The earthworks are now cut by a lane, aligned north west by south east, which divides it near the north eastern end. The main settlement area lies to the south west of the road and is broadly aligned north east by south west along the valley. The settlement includes a series of platforms and enclosures which have been terraced into the steep river cliff to the south east. At least 12 divisions are suggested by the boundaries within the settlement and within these are several rectangular platforms which are likely to represent the sites of buildings. A drainage channel (which is now disused) lies within the north eastern area of the settlement and is likely to be of a post-medieval date. The site has produced 12th to 17th century pottery, as well as finds of heathstone and flint rubble. Knowlton village is mentioned twice in the Domesday survey of 1086 when it is referred to as `Chenoltune'. The population numbers are not known, but the extension of the church in the 15th century might imply a substantial population until at least this time. Knowlton Church is known to have become unfrequented by the mid-17th century and it is possible that the population of the village had dwindled by this time. The church lies within a prehistoric henge monument, some 550m to the north east. It is the subject of a separate scheduling. Knowlton lies close to a broadly contemporary settlement at Brockington, situated on the other side of the river valley, and the subject of a separate scheduling. The two settlements lie within different parishes and were always distinct from one another. All gates and fence posts which relate to the modern field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 113

National Grid Reference: SU 01773 10402, SU 02083 10517


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This copy shows the entry on 23-Sep-2018 at 06:58:28.

End of official listing