Linear boundary 870m south west of Spring Farm
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Nov-2019 at 02:00:58.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- North Dorset (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- ST 90887 16118
Reasons for Designation
Cranborne Chase is an area of chalkland well known for its high number,
density and diversity of archaeological remains. These include a rare
combination of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites, comprising one of the
largest concentrations of burial monuments in England, the largest known
cursus (a linear ritual monument) and a significant number and range of
henge monuments (Late Neolithic ceremonial centres). Other important
remains include a variety of enclosures, settlements, field systems and
linear boundaries which date throughout prehistory and into the
Romano-British and medieval periods. This high level of survival of
archaeological remains is due largely to the later history of the Chase.
Cranborne Chase formed a Royal Hunting Ground from at least Norman times,
and much of the archaeological survival within the area resulted from
associated laws controlling land-use which applied until 1830. The unique
archaeological character of the Chase has attracted much attention over
the years, notably during the later 19th century, by the pioneering work
on the Chase of General Pitt-Rivers, Sir Richard Colt Hoare and Edward
Cunnington, often regarded as the fathers of British archaeology.
Archaeological investigations have continued throughout the 20th century
and to the present day.
Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or
multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between
less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear
features visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs, or as a combination
of both. The evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments
demonstrate that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle
Bronze Age, although they may have been reused later. The scale of many
linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were constructed by
large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries in the
landscape, their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of
their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with
religious associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings
of the groups responsible for their construction. Linear earthworks occur
quite widely across parts of Cranborne Chase and together, these are of
considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and land use in the
Bronze Age. All well-preserved examples are, therefore, considered to be
of national importance and will merit statutory protection.
Cranborne Chase is an area of central southern England which includes parts of Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire. This area of chalkland is well known for a high number and diversity of archaeological sites. These include a unique range of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age features, comprising one of the largest concentrations of barrows within England, the largest known cursus in England and a significant number and range of henge monuments. Other important remains include a wide variety of enclosures, settlements, field systems and linear boundaries which date throughout prehistory, the Romano-British and medieval periods. The importance of this archaeology is further enhanced by the occurrence of many monuments as rare survivals often with unusual associations. From at least Norman times, Cranborne Chase formed a Royal hunting ground and much of the archaeological survival within the area resulted from the laws which were applied until 1830. The unique archaeological character of The Chase has attracted much interest and research. During the later 19th century important contributions were made by General Pitt Rivers, Sir Richard Colt-Hoare and Edward Cunnington who are often regarded as the 'fathers' of British archaeology. Their research resulted in significant advances in excavation technique, recording methods and archaeological interpretation and their pioneering achievement owed much to the archaeology of Cranborne Chase. The linear boundary 900m south west of Spring Farm lies within Cranborne Chase. It is one of two scheduled sections which may be part of the same boundary extending over a distance of about 2.2km. It will contain archaeological deposits providing information relating to later prehistoric land use and environment.
The monument includes a linear boundary extending from south west to north
east across a gentle south facing slope on Cranborne Chase.
The boundary survives as a well-preserved earthwork 80m long and has a
ditch, 4m wide and 0.5m deep, with a bank, 6m wide and up to 0.6m high on
its south side. The central and eastern sections have been reduced in
height and spread by ploughing over the years. At the eastern the end the
boundary now visible as a low earthwork while in the central area there
are no visible remains, although the ditch will survive as a buried
feature. it is now visible as a low earthwork while in the central area
there are no visible remains, although the ditch will survive as a buried
Sections of a similar linear boundary earthwork 1.05km to the north west
are the subject of a separate scheduling. The boundary has not been
positively identified within the intervening area either on the ground or
on aerial photographs and consequently this area is not included in the
A prehistoric field system was noted on aerial photographs taken in 1947
and 1954 but by 1978 the Ordnance Survey recorded that there was no
visible trace of this and it is also not included in the scheduling.
All fence posts 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. It includes a 2 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:
- Legacy System:
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.
End of official listing