Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Grim's Ditch

A Scheduled Monument in Odstock, Wiltshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 51.0108 / 51°0'38"N

Longitude: -1.8222 / 1°49'19"W

OS Eastings: 412569.558

OS Northings: 123504.2683

OS Grid: SU125235

Mapcode National: GBR 51Z.G47

Mapcode Global: FRA 762F.V86

Entry Name: Grim's Ditch

Scheduled Date: 2 September 1960

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004753

English Heritage Legacy ID: WI 505

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Odstock

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Whitsbury St Leonard

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


Part of the linear boundary called Grim’s Ditch 615m south of Pennings Farm.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 24 September 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.

This monument, which falls into three areas, includes part of a linear boundary which crosses the rolling countryside of Cranborne Chase regardless of the topography thus including hill crests like Black Hill and valleys. The linear boundary survives as a roughly 2.6km long bank standing on average 1m high with a ditch to the south of between 1.5m up to 3m wide and 0.5m up to 1.3m deep preserved differentially throughout the length. This section forms part of a much longer prehistoric boundary work and other sections are the subject of separate schedulings.

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. Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying from 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 spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been reused 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 the groups responsible for their construction. Linear earthworks occur quite widely across parts of Cranborne Chase and together, these are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age. The part of the linear boundary called Grim’s Ditch 615m south of Pennings Farm survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, maintenance, development, the social organisation of its builders, its social, territorial and strategic significance and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape 217694
Wiltshire HER SU12SW631

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.