Ancient Monuments

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Linear earthwork in Bridle's Copse, south west of Silchester

A Scheduled Monument in Pamber, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.3401 / 51°20'24"N

Longitude: -1.1039 / 1°6'14"W

OS Eastings: 462511.963

OS Northings: 160497.4889

OS Grid: SU625604

Mapcode National: GBR B5H.XC4

Mapcode Global: VHCZV.TL70

Entry Name: Linear earthwork in Bridle's Copse, south west of Silchester

Scheduled Date: 28 November 1934

Last Amended: 30 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008728

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24334

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Pamber

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Bramley St James

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The monument includes a linear earthwork, one of several associated with the
Late Iron Age precursor of the Roman town of Calleva. The earthwork is in
Bridle`s Copse, c.1.9km south west of Calleva and south of the village of
The earthwork is c.300m long and for approximately two-thirds of its length is
aligned from south east to north west, turning more directly northwards
towards the northern end. The northern section of the earthwork consists of a
ditch with a bank on its western side. The ditch is c.12m wide and the bank up
to 10m wide, rising up to 2.3m above the base of the ditch and 0.5m above
ground level to the west. The change of alignment appears to mark a reduction
in the size of the earthwork, although the area south of the track is closely
planted with conifers which obscure the sides of the ditch and the surrounding
area. No bank is visible in the more open woodland at the south eastern edge
of Bridle's Copse where the ditch is c.9m wide and 0.4m deep. The earthwork
stops abruptly at the boundary of the wood and cannot be seen in the field
immediately to the south east.
Excluded from the scheduling are all fencing and associated posts and the
forest track, although the ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum, Silchester, is in open country and
therefore one of the small number of Roman town sites where subsequent
building has not obscured the origins and development of the site.
The town began as a settlement in the pre-Roman Iron Age, when earthworks
enclosing the site and dividing its environs were constructed. The site was
laid out anew as a Roman town in the first century AD, becoming a civitas
capital, or administrative centre, for the local people, the Atrebates. Recent
excavations have indicated that the earliest occupation of the site dates from
the second half of the first century BC. The complete plan of the Iron Age
settlement is not known, but extensive excavation within the town walls in the
years between 1890 and 1909 has enabled the layout of the subsequent Roman
town to be broadly established. The end of Roman administration in the fifth
century AD resulted in the decline of Calleva and, although the town continued
to be occupied for a while, it failed to develop further, reverting to open
country once again.
The linear earthwork in Bridle's Copse forms part of an extensive complex of
earthworks lying to the south and west of Calleva which is thought to be
associated with the town's Iron Age precursor. This earthwork is well-
preserved and will contain archaeological and environmental information
relating to the construction and use of the monument. It will also enhance our
understanding of territorial division and defence in the pre-Roman period.

Source: Historic England

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