Ancient Monuments

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Earthwork on Cleeve Common

A Scheduled Monument in Southam, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.935 / 51°56'6"N

Longitude: -2.0207 / 2°1'14"W

OS Eastings: 398672.0655

OS Northings: 226282.0499

OS Grid: SO986262

Mapcode National: GBR 2LT.RXW

Mapcode Global: VHB1J.XMLG

Entry Name: Earthwork on Cleeve Common

Scheduled Date: 17 January 1961

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002084

English Heritage Legacy ID: GC 407

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Southam

Built-Up Area: Southam

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Bishop's Cleeve St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


Cross dyke 685m south of Cleeve Lodge.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 25 September 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a cross dyke situated on the summit of a narrow ridge on the Cotswold Escarpment between a steep natural scarp and the steep upper valley of a tributary to the River Isbourne. The cross dyke survives differentially through its length and is cut in several places by hollow ways or track ways. Forming a gently curving arc of approximately 570m long, at the western end it is defined by a central ditch of V-shaped profile and up to 1m deep flanked on both sides by a bank. The northern bank is up to 3m wide and continues throughout the length as an earthwork whilst the southern bank is up to 5m wide but narrows as it heads east and gradually peters out to form a hollowed terrace. The changes in the configuration of the surviving earthworks are thought to represent up to three separate construction or maintenance phases.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Cross dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.2km and 1km long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to one or more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across ridges and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on aerial photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation and analogy with associated monuments demonstrates that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used later. Current information favours the view that they were used as territorial boundary markers, probably demarcating land allotment within communities, although they may also have been used as trackways, cattle droveways or defensive earthworks. Cross dykes are one of the few monument types which illustrate how land was divided up in the prehistoric period. They are of considerable importance for any analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age. Very few have survived to the present day.

The cross dyke 685m south of Cleeve Lodge survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, social organisation, function, territorial significance, longevity, maintenance and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape 117627

Source: Historic England

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