Ancient Monuments

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Enclosure and linear earthworks between Bishopstrow Down and South Down Sleight

A Scheduled Monument in Warminster, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.2257 / 51°13'32"N

Longitude: -2.1168 / 2°7'0"W

OS Eastings: 391941.9405

OS Northings: 147399.0327

OS Grid: ST919473

Mapcode National: GBR 1V2.5N7

Mapcode Global: VH97J.8G96

Entry Name: Enclosure and linear earthworks between Bishopstrow Down and South Down Sleight

Scheduled Date: 22 January 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010283

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10088

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Warminster

Built-Up Area: Warminster

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Bishopstrow St Aldhelm

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


An enclosure bounded on two sides by related linear earthworks.
1 - A section of linear bank and ditch earthwork running north-west/south-east
across the ridge between Bishopstrow Down and South Down Sleight. There has
been some damage by military vehicles.
2 - A sub-rectangular earthwork enclosure measuring c.25m north-west/south-
east and 21m north-east/south-west. There are traces of a possible ditch
outside the banks which are up to 0.75m high. (ST91524747)
3 - A section of boundary ditch running south-west/north-east. It joins a
section of linear earthwork running north-west/south-east at its northern end.
It is c.5m wide and c.220m long.

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.

Enclosures provide important evidence of land use and agricultural
practices in the prehistoric/Romano-British period. The enclosures in
the Salisbury Plain Training Area belong to one of the most important
and best preserved fossil landscapes in southern Britain. The presence
of these remains and their relationship with extensive field systems
and settlement complexes, are of critical importance to understanding
the character and development of Downland agriculture.

Boundary earthworks which include linear earthworks, so called ranch
boundaries, dykes and cross ridge dykes are particularly well preserved
in the Salisbury Plain Training Area. They provide important evidence
of prehistoric landholdings, land reorganisation and changing
agricultural practices through time.

Source: Historic England


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

Source: Historic England

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