Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Three adjoining linear earthworks and three bowl barrows north of Bokerley Dyke on Martin Down

A Scheduled Monument in Martin, Hampshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 50.9772 / 50°58'37"N

Longitude: -1.9359 / 1°56'9"W

OS Eastings: 404596.116706

OS Northings: 119754.832241

OS Grid: SU045197

Mapcode National: GBR 40W.PCD

Mapcode Global: FRA 66TJ.KM8

Entry Name: Three adjoining linear earthworks and three bowl barrows north of Bokerley Dyke on Martin Down

Scheduled Date: 1 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011006

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25605

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Martin

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Martin All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument, which falls into two areas, includes three adjoining linear
earthworks and three Bronze Age bowl barrows on Martin Down. The three
linear earthworks are aligned broadly from north to south and include: at the
south, an earthwork c.570m long; a second earthwork, c.1.81km long, running
west and then NNW from the southern earthwork; an `L'-shaped earthwork c.300m
long adjoining the northern end of the second earthwork. The three bowl
barrows are situated at the eastern side of the southern earthwork, not far
from its junction with Bokerley Dyke, and are aligned from north to south. The
monument lies within the Martin Down National Nature Reserve. This monument,
SM25605, abuts SM24328 (a Roman road) and SM25610 (Bokerley Dyke), but for
purposes of clarity these monuments have been defined as separate schedulings.

The southern earthwork runs as an upstanding feature for c.260m NNE from
Bokerley Dyke to the bottom of a dry valley. Thereafter it is much reduced or
wholly infilled and levelled. The reduced earthwork has been incorporated into
an existing field boundary for at least 130m up the north slope of the dry
valley, but their paths gradually diverge. The earthwork continues in the
field to the east as a levelled double ditch, its course recorded as crop
marks and soil marks on aerial photographs, to and beyond the junction with
the second earthwork. Its course beyond this junction is not included in this
scheduling. Where upstanding, the earthwork consists of a ditch with a single
bank to its east and has an overall width of 10m. The bank is c.4m wide and
rises up to 1.4m above the base of the ditch and c.0.3m above the general
ground level. The feature's association with the second earthwork suggests
that it is of Bronze Age date. The second earthwork is almost wholly levelled
but can be traced on the ground through variation in grass growth and is also
known from aerial photographs. From the southern earthwork it runs west for
c.150m before turning sharply to the north west and continuing for c.1.7km,
as far as the Sorviodunum (Old Sarum) to Vindocladia (Badbury) Roman road,
the subject of a separate scheduling, SM24328. The earthwork continues north
of the Roman road to join Grim's Ditch in Verditch Chase. This section of the
earthwork, SM25608, is the subject of a separate scheduling. Near its south
eastern end the earthwork survives as a shallow depression up to 3m wide and
0.2m deep. A section recorded during the construction of a gas pipeline
showed the ditch to be 1.45m wide and 0.75m deep. Pottery of Middle Bronze Age
date was recovered from a stretch of the ditch excavated by General Pitt

Adjoining the northern linear earthwork c.65m south of the Roman road, the
now levelled third earthwork runs south east for c.175m before turning
through a right-angle and continuing for c.140m to an existing field boundary.
There is no known evidence that the feature extended further to the north

The three closely spaced bowl barrows, aligned from north to south, lie
alongside the bank of the southern earthwork c.110m north of its junction with
Bokerley Dyke. All three barrow mounds are irregular, probably as a result of
antiquarian excavation, of which there are no known records. The southern
barrow has a mound c.13m in diameter and up to 1.5m high. A ditch, from which
material was quarried during the construction of the mound is largely
infilled, but survives as a depression up to 3.5m wide and 0.3m deep at the
north and west sides of the mound. The ditches of this barrow and the central
one are contiguous.

The mound of the central barrow is also up to 1.5m high and c.10.5m in
diameter but is very irregular, stepped and possibly spread. The partly
infilled quarry ditch survives as a 3m wide, 0.5m deep depression around the
west side of the mound. The ditch appears to cut both the tail of the bank of
the linear earthwork and the ditch of the northern barrow, although in the
case of the latter this may be the result of later disturbance.
The northern barrow has a mound c.8m in diameter and up to 0.7m high. The
quarry ditch, 2m wide, is here also largely infilled and is again visible only
at the west side of the mound.

All fencing and associated 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

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.

Adjacent to the southern earthwork, not far from Bokerley Dyke, are the three
bowl barrows. These, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary
monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with
most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many have already been destroyed), occurring
across lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major
historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of
form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the
diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric
communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a
substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

Much of the archaeological landscape of Martin Down and the surrounding area
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. The three associated earthworks and
three Bronze Age bowl barrows on Martin Down survive well and the group forms
part of the wider distribution of monuments of Bronze Age and later date
constructed on the down. 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


Books and journals
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 109-11
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 109
Catherall, P D et al , The Southern Feeder: the archaeology of a gas pipeline, (1984), 187
Pitt Rivers, A, Excavations in Cranborne Chase, (1898), 190
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of Cranborne Chase, (1913)
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, (1938), 356
Grinsell, L V, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Hampshire Barrows, (1938), 356
Eagles, B, (1994)
OS, Hants LIVaNE, (1925)
RCHME, Archeological records for the parish of Martin, Hants, (1976)

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.