Ancient Monuments

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Orcheston Down Romano-British landscape

A Scheduled Monument in Orcheston, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.232 / 51°13'55"N

Longitude: -1.9018 / 1°54'6"W

OS Eastings: 406951.684603

OS Northings: 148090.635717

OS Grid: SU069480

Mapcode National: GBR 3XV.L0N

Mapcode Global: VHB52.Z9GF

Entry Name: Orcheston Down Romano-British landscape

Scheduled Date: 12 March 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009461

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10115

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Orcheston

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Salisbury Plain

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


An exceptionally well preserved area of settlement, surrounded by an extensive
area of related field systems. Two barrows and a boundary bank and ditch
feature are also included within the constraint area.
1 - Romano-British "Church Pits" settlement represented by a series of
features along the crest of a west slope. They comprise circular or oval pits
with mounds of upcast. Romano-British pottery has been found on the site. A
plantation impinges on the north of the area.
2 - A field system to the south-east of "Church Pits", settlement, Orcheston
Down. It is in a very good condition.
3 - A field system to the south-west of "Church Pits", settlement, Orcheston
Down. The lynchets are visible but somewhat rounded due to ploughing.
4 - A bowl barrow 18m overall diameter with no sign of a ditch. It is marked
by an iron bar set into concrete. (SU06584771)
5 - A bowl barrow with a diameter of c.23m and no sign of a ditch.
6 - An extensive system of Celtic fields to the north-west of "Church Pits"
settlement, Orcheston Down. These fields are best preserved in an area on the
eastern slope.
7 - A field system to the south of "Church Pits", settlement, Orcheston Down.
It is in good condition particularly a section north of the east/west track
visible from Half Moon Copse.
8 - A boundary running across East Down and Orcheston Down. The best preserved
length is situated on Orcheston Down. On Orcheston Down the ditch is c.3m wide
with a bank c.4m wide to the north. It has been mutilated by military

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The most complete and extensive survival of chalk downland archaeological
remains in central southern England occurs on Salisbury Plain, particularly in
those areas lying within the Salisbury Plain Training Area. These remains
represent one of the few extant archaeological "landscapes" in Britain and are
considered to be of special significance because they differ in character from
those in other areas with comparable levels of preservation. Individual sites
on Salisbury Plain are seen as being additionally important because the
evidence of their direct association with each other survives so well.
Romano-British villages surviving as earthworks are rare nationally, as are
extensive, well preserved, Romano-Celtic field systems. The association of a
Roman village surviving as impressive earthworks at "Church Pits", extensive
contemporary field systems and a major prehistoric land boundary, provides
important evidence for the nature of Romano-British downland settlement and
agricultural practises. Additionally the monument includes several prehistoric
funerary monuments considered to be of national importance in their own right.

Source: Historic England


Trust for Wessex Archaeology, (1987)
Wiltshire Library & Museum Service, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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