Small enclosed Iron Age settlement at Leigh Wood, 180m south of Leigh Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021276

Date first listed: 22-Jun-2004


Ordnance survey map of Small enclosed Iron Age settlement at Leigh Wood, 180m south of Leigh Hall
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This copy shows the entry on 10-Dec-2018 at 13:49:53.


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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Worthen with Shelve

National Grid Reference: SJ 33369 03398


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

Reasons for Designation

During the Iron Age a variety of settlement types were constructed throughout Britain. Small enclosed settlements consist of discrete areas of occupation, bounded largely or wholly by continuous single or concentric ditches, banks or walls, and palisades. The size of these curvilinear or rectilinear enclosures is generally less than 2ha. They were occupied by a small community, perhaps a single family or several related family groups. In their original form the enclosures contained a single main domestic building, or several clusters of domestic buildings. These structures are normally circular and are often associated with rectangular buildings used for the storage of agricultural produce. Small enclosed settlements became common features in the landscape during the second half of the first millennium BC. Settlements of this type continued to be built and occupied throughout the Roman period. They were the dwelling places of people engaged in small-scale farming and craft production. Considerable numbers of small enclosed settlements are known, but most have been levelled by ploughing. All small enclosed settlements where earthwork or standing structural remains survive are considered to be of national importance.

Despite later quarrying, the small enclosed Iron Age settlement at Leigh Wood, 180m south of Leigh Hall, is a good example of this class of monument. In common with the other broadly contemporary settlements overlooking the Rea Brook valley, it is considered to contain significant buried deposits, structural features, artefactual and organic remains. These have the potential to illustrate many aspects of life during the Iron Age. The defences will retain evidence about the nature of their construction. In addition, organic remains surviving in the buried ground surfaces beneath the banks and within the ditches will provide important information about the local environment and the use of the surrounding land before the settlement was built and during its occupation.


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


The monument includes the earthwork, standing structural and buried remains of a small enclosed Iron Age settlement, situated at the eastern end of the summit of a steep-sided knoll, on the southern side of the Rea Brook valley. From this location there are commanding views of the valley and the uplands beyond to the north and north west.

The enclosed settlement takes the form of a sub-rectangular enclosure. Although part of the north west side has been removed by later stone quarrying, it is apparent that its overall dimensions were about 50m north west-south east by 145m south west-north east. The area enclosed by the defences would have been approximately 0.2ha. The defensive circuit comprises a series of banks and roughly built walls constructed from blocks of stone hewn from the adjacent ditches. The rock here is igneous and is especially hard, and would have been very difficult to quarry. The defences at the south western end, flanking the entranceway into the interior, consist of three banks/walls separated by ditches and level areas, or berms. The inner bank is the highest of the three and stands to a height of 2.2m. The inner and middle banks/walls continue around the north western side. Each are bounded by terraces, which mark the positions of infilled ditches. To the north these earthworks have been removed by later quarrying. The interior of the settlement on the south eastern side is defined by a scarp, marking the outer face of a bank, and is bounded by an external ditch, now infilled and visible as a slight terrace. At the north western end of the enclosure the rock has been cut to form a second entrance passage into the settlement.

All fence posts 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.


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

Legacy System number: 34944

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing