Ancient Monuments

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Lynchets south of Stavordale Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Abbotsbury, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6594 / 50°39'33"N

Longitude: -2.6177 / 2°37'3"W

OS Eastings: 356430.633472

OS Northings: 84592.40657

OS Grid: SY564845

Mapcode National: GBR PT.7123

Mapcode Global: FRA 57DB.HYW

Entry Name: Lynchets S of Stavordale Wood

Scheduled Date: 19 December 1958

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002823

English Heritage Legacy ID: DO 383

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Abbotsbury

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Abbotsbury St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


Part of a medieval field system 750m south-west of West Farm.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 13 January 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 part of a medieval field system situated on the steep south facing slopes of a coastal ridge overlooking Cowards Lake and the sea at the northern end of Chesil Beach. The part of the field system survives as an extensive series of parallel and narrow lynchets which follow the contours of the hillside. The lynchets measure up to 3m high and the cultivation terraces created behind these vary in width from 6m up to 25m wide.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The distinctive medieval strips fields were produced by areas of unploughed land being left between allotments and the shape was determined by the action of ploughing which always turned the soil to the right and thus produced an undulating S-shape. The size of the strips was roughly an acre (0.405ha) which represented a day's work with a plough and the length was determined by the distance an ox team could plough before needing a rest, a furlong (201.2m). Along particularly steep slopes this medieval cultivation techniques produced distinctive strips separated by often steep scarp slopes called lynchets ultimately producing more level cultivation terraces. The part of the medieval field system 750m south west of West Farm survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating t its construction, development, social organisation, agricultural practices and cultivation techniques and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-450555

Source: Historic England

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