Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Grim's Ditch: Old Lodge Copse to Toyd Clump

A Scheduled Monument in Bishopstone, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 50.9999 / 50°59'59"N

Longitude: -1.8881 / 1°53'17"W

OS Eastings: 407948.4935

OS Northings: 122281.7014

OS Grid: SU079222

Mapcode National: GBR 40R.9GJ

Mapcode Global: FRA 66YG.L8F

Entry Name: Grim's Ditch: Old Lodge Copse to Toyd Clump

Scheduled Date: 4 October 1957

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003457

English Heritage Legacy ID: HA 245

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Bishopstone

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Bishopstone and Stratford Tony St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


Hampshire Grim’s Ditch: 4.24km length from Old Lodge Copse to Toyd Clump.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 30 July 2014. 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 4.24km length of Grim’s Ditch, a prehistoric linear boundary, surviving as an earthwork and below-ground archaeological remains. It is situated on chalk downland about 3.5km south of the River Ebble. Much of this length serves as field boundaries and also as the county boundary between Hampshire and Wiltshire. It is in two areas of protection divided by the A354 road. The earthwork is denoted by a bank, on average about 0.5m high and 2m wide, with a ditch on the north side on average 1m deep and 6m wide. It takes a sinuous course broadly eastwards from Old Lodge Copse to Furze Down. Here it runs broadly north-east for 1.25km to Toyd Clump. The ditch has become in-filled in places, such as at Old Lodge Copse, but will survive as a buried feature. The bank is also levelled in places.

Grim’s Ditch in Hampshire is not considered to be a unitary earthwork but a complex of separate sections, displaying diversity in size and form, which may not be contemporary with each other. Partial excavation of a length of Grim’s Ditch at Martins Down has indicated that at least part of it is Bronze Age in origin. It is thought to represent some form of land division, although it may have evolved, or been reused, over a lengthy period extending into the Iron Age and even the Romano-British period.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying from between less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that their construction often spans at least a millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used later. The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries in the landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and land use from the Bronze Age; all well preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.

Despite having been partly levelled in places, the 4.24km length of Grim’s Ditch from Old Lodge Copse to Toyd Clump survives well. It will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the earthwork and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


NMR LINEAR 76. PastScape 906402,

Source: Historic England

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