Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Field system west of Fore Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Maiden Newton, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.7773 / 50°46'38"N

Longitude: -2.5642 / 2°33'51"W

OS Eastings: 360316.403084

OS Northings: 97677.630289

OS Grid: SY603976

Mapcode National: GBR PV.49KG

Mapcode Global: FRA 57J1.0WB

Entry Name: Field system W of Fore Hill

Scheduled Date: 1 January 1900

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002866

English Heritage Legacy ID: DO 501

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Maiden Newton

Built-Up Area: Maiden Newton

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Maiden Newton and Valleys

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


Medieval strip field system 470m north of Combe Side.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 28 January 2016. 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 part of a medieval strip field system situated on the relatively steep west facing slopes of the valley of the River Frome overlooking the settlement of Maiden Newton. The field system survives as a series of cultivation terraces levelled into the hillside and defined by lynchets of up to 2.5m high which form roughly rectangular strips of up to 9m wide.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The distinctive strip 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 days’ 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). On steeper slopes the action of ploughing led to the creation of distinctive terraces where the cultivated field began to become more level and the terraces were defined by those areas not cultivated which created steeply sided platforms.

Despite the activity of burrowing animals the medieval strip field system 470m north of Combe Side survives well and is clearly visible as an element of the landscape. The monument will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, agricultural practices, social significance and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-453028

Source: Historic England

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