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Two linear earthworks, two barrows and Iron Age and Romano-British settlements on Tidpit Common Down

A Scheduled Monument in Martin, Hampshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.9623 / 50°57'44"N

Longitude: -1.9048 / 1°54'17"W

OS Eastings: 406782.089644

OS Northings: 118100.271631

OS Grid: SU067181

Mapcode National: GBR 413.R6N

Mapcode Global: FRA 66WK.RQD

Entry Name: Two linear earthworks, two barrows and Iron Age and Romano-British settlements on Tidpit Common Down

Scheduled Date: 29 April 1955

Last Amended: 27 September 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010762

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25607

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Martin

Built-Up Area: Martin

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Martin All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument includes two adjoining linear earthworks running eastward from
Bokerly Dyke, a levelled, elongated barrow, a bowl barrow and overlapping Iron
Age and Romano-British settlements on Tidpit Common Down. The eastern
earthwork and the barrows are of Bronze Age date. The western linear
earthwork, which makes a detour around the levelled barrow, is thought to be
of Late Iron Age date. This linear earthwork (SM25607) abuts SM25610 (Bokerley
Dyke) but for purposes of clarity these monuments have been defined as
separate schedulings.
The linear earthworks, which form part of Grim's Ditch, run eastward along a
ridge from Bokerley Dyke on Blagdon Hill. They have a combined length of
1.82km: the western earthwork is c.1.06km long, the eastern one c.0.76km. The
junction of the two earthworks, recorded as crop marks on aerial photographs,
occurs in an area now under cultivation c.140m east of the levelled barrow.
The western earthwork makes two almost right-angled turns c.60m west of the
levelled barrow, probably to avoid earlier field boundaries, and a small
diversion takes it around the south side of the barrow. Where upstanding, the
earthwork includes a ditch flanked on both sides by a bank, giving an overall
width of c.13m. The ditch is c.6.5m wide and falls to a maximum depth of 1.5m.
The southern bank is the larger, rising to a maximum height of 0.7m above the
adjacent ground level.
The upstanding section of the eastern earthwork runs partly along the north
side of the ridge, where the steep slope accentuates the depth of the ditch,
here reaching a maximum depth of c.3.5m. The bank at the north is low, rising
to a maximum height of 0.8m above the base of the ditch, and is occasionally
absent altogether. The earthwork turns through two right-angles north of the
settlements on Tidpit Common Down, again probably to accommodate existing
fields. Further to the east, the earthwork is interrupted and diverted
southward to form an entrance to the settlements. Towards its eastern end, the
earthwork crosses a less steep slope where banks up to 1.1m high flank the
ditch at either side.
The elongated barrow, now in an area under cultivation, lies slightly north of
the crest of the ridge. Although levelled by ploughing, the barrow is visible
as soil marks on aerial photographs and has also been the subject of a
geophysical survey. The barrow is c.30m long and 19m wide overall. The
encircling ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of
the mound, has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature
c.2.5m wide.
The bowl barrow lies on the crest of the ridge at the east of the area
occupied by the Iron Age and Romano-British settlements. The barrow mound is
c.12m in diameter and up to 0.8m high. The encircling quarry ditch has become
infilled but survives as a buried feature 2m wide.
The overlapping Iron Age and Romano-British settlements lie toward the eastern
end of the ridge and are marked by earthworks extending over an area of almost
4ha. The earlier settlement, which lies within an enclosure measuring c.140m
(west to east) by at least 80m, occupies the northern part of the site. The
area of occupation expanded southwards and eastwards in the later period, but
was not then enclosed. At least one hut circle of the earlier settlement and
occupation platforms of the later one were recorded during a survey of the
site by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England.
All posts and associated fencing and signs, gates, stiles, water tanks and
associated pipes and fittings are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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

Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or
multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between
less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features
visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The
evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that
their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although
they may have been re-used later.
The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were
constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries
in the landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of
their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious
associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those
groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance
for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age; all well
preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.

Much of the archaeological landscape of Martin Down and the surrounding area,
including Tidpit Common Down, is preserved as earthworks or crop-marks, which
together will provide a detailed understanding of the nature and development
of early downland land division, agriculture and settlement.
In addition to the linear earthworks, a bowl barrow, the levelled barrow and
Iron Age and Romano-British settlement on Blagdon Hill and Tidpit Common Down
survive well. Together these represent a rare combination of Bronze Age and
later monuments constructed on the downs in this area. These were recently the
subject of a detailed survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical
Monuments of England. All will contain archaeological and environmental
evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 113-6
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 115-6
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990)
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 113-6
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 13
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 115-6
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 115
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990)
Smith, I F , Long Barrows in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, (1979)
Other
Ordnance Survey, SU 01NE 12, (1954)

Source: Historic England

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