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Field system and settlement on Watcombe Plain

A Scheduled Monument in Piddletrenthide, Dorset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.8267 / 50°49'36"N

Longitude: -2.4112 / 2°24'40"W

OS Eastings: 371131.281314

OS Northings: 103097.92305

OS Grid: ST711030

Mapcode National: GBR MZ.X8WN

Mapcode Global: FRA 56VX.6FS

Entry Name: Field system and settlement on Watcombe Plain

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1970

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002429

English Heritage Legacy ID: DO 759

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Piddletrenthide

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Alton Pancras St Pancras

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Summary

Enclosed Iron Age or Romano-British farmstead and part of its associated field system 940m north west of Harvey’s Farm.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 February 2016. This 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.

This monument includes an enclosed Iron Age or Romano British farmstead and part of its associated field system situated on the steep east facing slopes of the prominent ridge called Church Hill. The farmstead survives as a curving enclosure which contains at least two hut circles one measuring 6m in diameter and defined by a stony rim bank and the other up to 11m in diameter and defined by a terraced depression into the slope. The surrounding field system of rectangular fields are defined by lynchets and also contain ridge and furrow indicating they were re-used for cultivation during the medieval period. A track way defined by lynchets also connects some of the fields to the farmstead.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Romano-British farmsteads are small agricultural units comprising groups of up to four circular or rectangular houses along with associated structures which may include wells, storage pits, corn-drying ovens and granary stores. These were sometimes constructed within a yard surrounded by a rectangular or curvilinear enclosure, and associated field systems, trackways and cemeteries may be located nearby. Most Romano-British farmsteads in England have been discovered by the analysis of aerial photographs. They usually survive in the form of buried features visible as crop and soil marks and occasionally as low earthworks. Often situated on marginal agricultural land and found throughout the British Isles, they date to the period of Roman occupation (c. AD 43-450). Romano-British farmsteads are generally regarded as low status settlements, with the members of one family or small kinship group pursuing a mixed farming economy. Excavation at these sites has shown a marked continuity with later prehistoric settlements. There is little evidence of personal wealth and a limited uptake of the Romanised way of life. Romano- British farmsteads occur throughout southern England, but cluster on the chalk downland of Wessex, Sussex and Kent. They are the most representative form of rural settlement in the region during the Roman period. The enclosed Iron Age or Romano-British farmstead and part of its associated field system 940m north west of Harvey’s Farm survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, development, longevity, social organisation, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements, adaptive re-use, abandonment and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape 201954

Source: Historic England

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