Ancient Monuments

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Three sections of a linear earthwork between Churchlane Copse and Early Bridge Copse, south of Silchester

A Scheduled Monument in Silchester, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.3496 / 51°20'58"N

Longitude: -1.0862 / 1°5'10"W

OS Eastings: 463735.4362

OS Northings: 161565.0633

OS Grid: SU637615

Mapcode National: GBR B5J.87B

Mapcode Global: VHCZW.4B4R

Entry Name: Three sections of a linear earthwork between Churchlane Copse and Early Bridge Copse, south of Silchester

Scheduled Date: 28 November 1934

Last Amended: 30 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011956

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24335

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Silchester

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Silchester St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum, Silchester, began as a settlement in the
pre-Roman Iron Age, when earthworks enclosing the site and dividing its
environs were constructed. It was laid out anew as a Roman town in the first
century AD, becoming a civitas capital or administrative centre, for the local
people, the Atrebates. This monument, which falls into three areas, includes
three sections of one of the linear earthworks, running south westwards from
near Churchlane Copse, 400m south of the Roman town wall, to Early Bridge
Copse, a distance of c.1.6km.

The northern section of this earthwork is c.512m long, the first 147m crossing
a field which was once cultivated. Here the bank and ditch have been reduced
and infilled respectively by ploughing but are visible as a change in slope.
The bank has a maximum height of 1.2m above the ditch, which is occasionally
visible as a very shallow depression east of the bank. The bank rises only
slightly above the general ground level to the west and is up to 17m wide. The
remainder of the northern section of the earthwork forms a modern field
boundary and public footpath, ending at Byes Lane. The bank here has a maximum
width of 12m and is up to 1.4m high, although usually less. A narrow modern
ditch runs on the line of the earlier ditch, which is represented by a slight
slope at the edge of the field east of the boundary. The bank becomes
irregular to the south, with low ridges either side of a central trough.
The well-preserved central section, c.215m long, is south of Byes Lane. The
bank is up to 14m wide and rises up to 1.2m above ground level to the west and
2m above the base of the ditch. The higher ground to the east gives the ditch
a maximum depth of 3m on that side. The southern end of the feature terminates
abruptly on steeper ground north of the Silchester Brook.

The southern section of the earthwork is c.126m long and is at the eastern
edge of Early Bridge Copse. The bank here has been almost levelled, and is
nowhere more than 0.2m above ground level at the west. The ditch, the base of
which is cut by a modern ditch just to the east of the wood, falls to a
maximum depth of 2m below the bank and is up to 9m wide.
All fences, stiles, gates 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

The Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum, Silchester, is in open country and
therefore one of the small number of Roman town sites where subsequent
building has not obscured the origins and development of the site.

The bank and ditch, representing a stretch of Iron Age linear earthwork
between Churchlane Copse and Early Bridge Copse, form part of the extensive
complex of earthworks lying to the south and west of Calleva which is thought
to be associated with the town's Iron Age precursor. These three sections of
the earthwork survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental
evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument. They will also
contribute to our understanding of territorial division and defence in the
pre-Roman period.

Source: Historic England

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