Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Earthwork 360yds (328m) north west of Warren Copse

A Scheduled Monument in Ansty, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.0182 / 51°1'5"N

Longitude: -2.076 / 2°4'33"W

OS Eastings: 394767.097836

OS Northings: 124313.642547

OS Grid: ST947243

Mapcode National: GBR 2YZ.3Z4

Mapcode Global: FRA 66JF.C1L

Entry Name: Earthwork 360yds (328m) NW of Warren Copse

Scheduled Date: 19 November 1928

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003726

English Heritage Legacy ID: WI 226

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Ansty

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Berwick St John St John

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


Part of a cross ridge dyke 750m SSE of Horwood Farm Dairy.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 1 July 2015. 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. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.

This monument includes part of a cross ridge dyke situated at the narrow point close to the summit of the prominent escarpment called White Sheet Hill overlooking the distant confluence of the Rivers Sem and Nadder. The cross ridge dyke survives as two banks with a medial ditch aligned roughly north to south. The western bank is 5m wide and up to 1.5m high, the ditch up to 7m wide and 3.2m deep and the eastern bank 4m wide and 1m high. It is known locally as ‘Half Mile Ditch’ and also marks the parish boundary between Berwick St John and Alvediston. Although the date is not known with certainty, limited evidence suggests a prehistoric origin. Further sections of the dyke are not included in the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed.

Other archaeological features in the vicinity are scheduled separately.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Cranborne Chase is an area of chalkland well known for its high number, density and diversity of archaeological remains. These include a rare combination of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites, comprising one of the largest concentrations of burial monuments in England, the largest known cursus (a linear ritual monument) and a significant number and range of henge monuments (Late Neolithic ceremonial centres). Other important remains include a variety of enclosures, settlements, field systems and linear boundaries which date throughout prehistory and into the Romano-British and medieval periods. This high level of survival of archaeological remains is due largely to the later history of the Chase. Cranborne Chase formed a Royal Hunting Ground from at least Norman times, and much of the archaeological survival within the area resulted from associated laws controlling land-use which applied until 1830. The unique archaeological character of the Chase has attracted much attention over the years, notably during the later 19th century, by the pioneering work on the Chase of General Pitt-Rivers, Sir Richard Colt Hoare and Edward Cunnington, often regarded as the fathers of British archaeology. Archaeological investigations have continued throughout the 20th century and to the present day. Cross ridge dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.2km long and 1km long, 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 a combination 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 reused 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 ridge dykes occur across Cranborne Chase and 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 examples have survived to the present day nationally and all well-preserved examples are considered to be important. The number of well-preserved examples within Cranborne Chase is particularly notable. The part of a cross ridge dyke 750m SSE of Horwood Farm Dairy survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, maintenance, longevity, territorial, social, strategic and economic significance, possible re-use and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape 210675
Wiltshire HER ST92SW613

Source: Historic England

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