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Wansdyke: Daniel's Lane section

A Scheduled Monument in Shalbourne, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3779 / 51°22'40"N

Longitude: -1.5376 / 1°32'15"W

OS Eastings: 432280.82874

OS Northings: 164420.750705

OS Grid: SU322644

Mapcode National: GBR 70K.G33

Mapcode Global: VHC1Z.9MHJ

Entry Name: Wansdyke: Daniel's Lane section

Scheduled Date: 14 July 1955

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005594

English Heritage Legacy ID: WI 433

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Shalbourne

Traditional County: Berkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Summary

Part of a medieval frontier defence called Wansdyke 670m south west of Doves Farm.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 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 includes part of a medieval frontier defence situated on a ridge overlooking the valley of a tributary to the River Dun. The frontier defence survives as a ditch of up to 9.4m wide with an associated bank of up to 8.2m wide. In this section both ends have been cut by roads and there is a cottage (excluded from the scheduling) with its access track – now known as Daniel’s Lane – located within the ditch. Geophysical surveys of much of the Wansdyke have shown ditches survive on both sides of the bank but where they are not visible they are preserved as entirely buried features. The linear boundary is known to be partly prehistoric in origin in its western extremities and was modified during the early medieval period when it was re-used as a military frontier and boundary work between Wessex and Mercia. Noted in charters the eastern section of which this is a part was in place by the 9th century and is probably of early medieval origin. Its name is derived from ‘Woden’s Dyke’ the Anglo-Saxon god who also gave his name to Wednesday. Other sections of the Wansdyke are the subject of separate schedulings.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A small number of substantial and defensible boundary features have been identified as frontier works marking territories in the early medieval period. Up to 50 examples are known with a fairly wide distribution across England, including examples in southern England, East Anglia, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and along the Welsh border. Identified remains extend over distances from as little as 300m up to as much as 240km in the case of Offa's Dyke. They survive in the form of earthworks and as buried features visible as cropmarks or soil marks on aerial photographs. They appear often to have been constructed across the natural grain of the landscape and, although many examples consisted of a single bank and flanking ditch, to vary considerably in their form and dimensions, even along different stretches of the same boundary, depending upon local topography. Evidence from contemporary documentary sources, excavation and survey suggests that they were constructed in the early medieval period between the fifth and eighth centuries AD. Some were relatively ephemeral, perhaps in use for only a few years during periods of local strife; others, such as Offa's Dyke, constructed between Wales and Mercia, have formed long-lived territorial and/or military boundaries in use for several centuries. As a rare monument type of considerable importance to the study of early medieval territorial patterns, all surviving examples are identified as important. Despite the construction of a dwelling and track the part of a medieval frontier defence called Wansdyke 670m south west of Doves Farm survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, date, maintenance, adaptive re-use, military and territorial significance and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape 1031565, Wiltshire HER SU36SW627

Source: Historic England

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