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Multi-period site on Minchinhampton Common

A Scheduled Monument in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7075 / 51°42'26"N

Longitude: -2.2085 / 2°12'30"W

OS Eastings: 385687.636125

OS Northings: 200993.593519

OS Grid: SO856009

Mapcode National: GBR 1MZ.SKH

Mapcode Global: VH954.NBTW

Entry Name: Multi-period site on Minchinhampton Common

Scheduled Date: 5 January 1927

Last Amended: 23 November 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010433

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13806

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Minchinhampton

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Amberley Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes sites of several periods ranging in date from the Late
Prehistoric period to the present day and which represent the changing
land-use on Minchinhampton Common through time. It includes the following:
(SO86440125 to SO87250112) The Bulwarks: an Iron Age bank and ditch: The
linear bank is 10m to 12m wide and c.1.5m high at its highest point. A ditch
10m wide and c.1.2m deep runs parallel to the bank on its eastern side. A
partial excavation in 1937 by Mrs Clifford demonstrated that the bank had a
stone revetment on the side facing the ditch. Pottery from beneath the bank
and in the primary fill of the ditch suggest a Late Iron Age date for its

(SO85290143 to SO85140125) Iron Age bank and ditch 180m northeast of Holy
Trinity Church, Amberley: This comprises a linear bank and ditch orientated
northeast to southwest. The bank is 16m wide and c.1.3m high at its highest
point. A ditch 5m wide and c.1.5m deep runs parallel to the bank on its
eastern side. Finds of Late Iron Age pottery were reported from under the
bank and in the primary fill of the ditch.

(SO85800070 and SO85700010) Prehistoric field system: A system of at least
twelve rectangular fields defined by banks following a gently curving course
and ranging in size from 0.4 to 0.6 hectares. The banks are 4m wide and
c.0.2m high with the exception of the southern terminal bank which is 6m wide
and c.0.4m high.

(SO85110158 to SO85160088) Amberley Camp: a medieval enclosure defined by
a linear bank running in an arc from north to south with a ditch to its
eastern side. The bank is 6m wide and c.1m high at its highest point. The
ditch, where visible, is 1m wide and c.0.5m deep in the southern portion of
the enclosure and 2m wide and c.0.3m deep in the north. A partial excavation
by Mrs Clifford in 1937 demonstrated that the bank was stone-built, probably
originally revetted with turf.

(SO84150081 to SO85590065) Pinfarthings enclosure: a medieval enclosure
defined by a continuous linear bank and ditch running in a semi-circular line
from the Amberley enclosure at the northwest to a point where it meets a
trackway. The bank is 8m wide and c.0.1m high at the northwestern end and 6m
wide and c.0.2m high towards the east. The ditch, where visible is 5m wide
and c.0.2m deep.

(SO85670089; SO85500072; SO85350045) Evidence for medieval cultivation
comprising a series of shallow parallel ridges and furrows representing a
short-lived episode of arable cultivation on the Common.

(SO85360083 centred) Post-medieval rabbit warren including approximately
forty-nine pillow mounds, eight rabbit buries, two vermin traps, the former
warrener's house and the warren boundary.

The pillow mounds survive as square- or round-ended earthen mounds ranging
from 13m long by 8m wide and c.0.1m high to 71m long by 16m wide and c.1.0m
high. Most mounds are orientated northwest to southeast. The pillow mounds
are flanked by slight ditches 2m wide and c.0.1m deep.

The rabbit buries are all round mounds ranging from 11m to 14m in diameter and
c.0.3m to 0.5m high. The buries have slight surrounding ditches c.2m wide and
c.0.1m deep.

The two vermin traps survive as banks and ditches, one `X'-shaped, the other
`V'-shaped. The `X'-shaped trap is 22m long and 18m wide with low banks 1.5m
wide and c.0.3m high; shallow ditches occur on the north and south sides of
the banks. There is a gap at the centre of the cross-pieces where the trap
would have been placed. The `V'-shaped trap has two banks 12m long by 2m wide
and c.0.1m high with a gap at the point for the trap.

The warren boundary is a linear bank and ditch orientated northwest to
southeast. The bank varies from 3m to 4m wide and c.0.3m to 0.5m high. The
external ditch has been largely infilled but survives as a slight depression
2m wide and c.0.1m deep.

The rabbit warren is first mentioned in an account of the poaching of a rabbit
from the warren in 1823. However it is probable that the warren originated
before this date, most likely between the 16th and 17th centuries when the
construction of warrens reached its peak. This dating would be supported by
the building and naming of the `Old Lodge' house in the 17th century.

(SO87180107) `The Park': the remains of a post-medieval landscape park
comprising a park ditch, a tree enclosure and an avenue which replaced an
earlier medieval deerpark first mentioned in documents of 1176.
(SO85420080) A system of medieval trackways and hollow ways and the
post-medieval Cirencester to Stroud turnpike road which all cross the Common
and reflect both changes in the use of the Common and the requirements of the

(SO85420080) Evidence for stone quarrying, including thirty-seven areas of
former quarries ranging in size from 10m to 250m long by 5m to 80m wide and
c.0.3m to 10m deep.

(SO87200110) World War II camp in `The Park' surviving as a rectangular
earthwork defined by a low bank 8m wide and c.0.2m high with two raised
platforms c.50m square and c.0.3m high located at the southeast corner.
Within the camp a series of rectangular areas are defined by very slight
ditches. Aerial photographs taken during World War II show the military camp
in existence.

(SO85420080) Other World War II features on the Common include twenty-two
anti-glider trenches ranging from Im to 6m wide and 50m to 380m long and two
slit trenches.

The monument also includes the former bowling green, the Minchinhampton Golf
Club and a standing stone known as `Tom Long's post'.

The Old Lodge Inn (a Grade II listed building), the Minchinhampton Golf Club
clubhouse, a mile-stone at SO86800127 and the system of modern roads on the
Common are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them is
included. The covered reservoir is totally excluded from the monument.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Minchinhampton Common is unusual in preserving in good condition a landscape
which contains a wide range of monuments dating from the Prehistoric period to
the Second World War. The Common has been the site of Prehistoric fields and
defensive sites, medieval and post-medieval roads, hollow ways and turnpike
systems, medieval and post-medieval quarrying, a post-medieval warren and
World War II defences.
Besides containing monuments which are of national importance in their own
right, for example The Bulwarks, the Iron Age bank and ditch at Amberley and
the post-medieval warren, Minchinhampton Common is important in preserving the
relationships between a variety of different types of monument of varying
date. Although archaeological landscapes such as this are known in a number
of locations, they are generally located in remote upland situations.
Minchinhampton Common, by virtue of its continuing status as common land, has
survived between two villages (Amberley and Minchinhampton) in an area of high
agricultural pressure.
Apart from the Prehistoric field system, which primarily survives as a
cropmark site only visible from the air, the monuments survive as upstanding
earthworks. The site therefore has high potential for the recovery of
archaeological and environmental information relating to all periods between
later prehistory and the present day.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Russett, V, Report on the Archaeology of Minchinhampton Common, (1990)
ARG 85, CUAP, (ARG85),
Clifford, (1937)
Clifford, (1961)
Cox, (1965)
Dennison, E, Monument Class Description: Warrens, (1988)
GRO D 1265, (GRO D 1265),
GRO Q/PC 2/42/B, GRO Q/PC 2/42/B, (1823)
Playne, (1872)
Pugh, (1976)
RAF 3G.TUD.UK 102/5155, RAF, 3G.TUD.UK 102/5155, (1945)
RAF/541/189/3336-3337, RAF, (1948)
Raymond, F, Monument Class Description: Regular Aggregate Field Systems, (1987)
Russett, V, (1984)
Swan, (1975)
Swar, (1975)
Trow, S D, (1982)
Viner, D, (1979)
Watson, (1932)
Watson, (1932)

Source: Historic England

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