Ancient Monuments

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Section of a linear boundary from 350m north east of Westfield Farm on Lake Down to Lake Bottom

A Scheduled Monument in Wilsford cum Lake, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1529 / 51°9'10"N

Longitude: -1.8285 / 1°49'42"W

OS Eastings: 412091.823

OS Northings: 139302.6344

OS Grid: SU120393

Mapcode National: GBR 507.LJV

Mapcode Global: VHB5J.8962

Entry Name: Section of a linear boundary from 350m north east of Westfield Farm on Lake Down to Lake Bottom

Scheduled Date: 22 February 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010881

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10490

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Wilsford cum Lake

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Woodford Valley with Archers Gate

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a section of linear boundary running from a point 350m
north east of Westfield Farm on Lake Down to Lake Bottom, running along a
north east facing slope with views across the Avon valley, and climbing the
northern slope of Rox Hill. The monument is part of a complex of boundary
earthworks which extend for over 4km from west of Winterbourne Stoke
Crossroads to Rox Hill in the south east, with extensions north east beyond
Normanton Gorse.
The linear boundary is c.1200m in length and consists of a ditch 5m wide with
an average depth of c.1m. Either side of the ditch are banks, 0.5m high and 3m
to 5m wide to the north east and 0.5m high and up to 3m wide to the south
west. Aerial photographs reveal that the boundary extends as a buried feature
c.1000m further north west to connect to a visible section of similar
earthworks near the Lake round barrow cemetery. This section of the boundary
has been reduced by cultivation and is now difficult to identify on the
ground and is not included in the scheduling. A further section of
linear boundary joins it at a right angle in its south east sector, but this
too is difficult to identify and has not been included.
A similar earthwork runs parallel to this monument 300m to the south. The Lake
Down round barrow cemetery occupies part of the land between the two
monuments. Further south east the intervening strip is occupied by a
prehistoric field system which abuts the earthwork north of Rox Hill. The
field system is difficult to identify on the ground and has not been
included in the scheduling. The parallel earthwork is the subject of a
separate scheduling, along with the Lake Down cemetery.
Above Lake Bottom the linear boundary expands to a width of c.30m to
incorporate what is interpreted as an earlier earthwork, probably the
remains of a round barrow.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath these
features 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

A small number of areas in southern England appear to have acted as foci for
ceremonial and ritual activity during the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods.
Two of the best known and the earliest recognised areas are around Avebury and
Stonehenge, now jointly designated as a World Heritage Site.
The area of chalk downland which surrounds Stonehenge contains one of the
densest and most varied groups of Neolithic and Bronze Age field monuments in
Britain. Included within the area are Stonehenge itself, the Stonehenge
cursus, the Durrington Walls henge, and a variety of burial monuments, many
grouped into cemeteries.
The area has been the subject of archaeological research since the 18th
century when Stukeley recorded many of the monuments and partially excavated a
number of the burial mounds. More recently, the collection of artefacts from
the surfaces of ploughed fields has supplemented the evidence for ritual and
burial by revealing the intensity of contemporary settlement and land-use.
In view of the importance of the area, all ceremonial and sepulchral monuments
of this period which retain significant archaeological remains are identified
as nationally important.

Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or
multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between
less than 1km to more than 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear
features visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of
both, as in the present case. The evidence of excavation and study of
associated monuments demonstrate that their construction spans the millenium
from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been reused 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 which 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.
The section of linear boundary running from 350m north east of Westfield Farm
on Lake Down to Lake Bottom survives well and will contain archaeological
remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape
in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 259
RCHME, , Stonehenge and its Environs, (1979), 26

Source: Historic England

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