Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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A section of a linear earthwork south west of Great Litchfield Down

A Scheduled Monument in Litchfield and Woodcott, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.2952 / 51°17'42"N

Longitude: -1.3333 / 1°19'59"W

OS Eastings: 446579.413157

OS Northings: 155330.717715

OS Grid: SU465553

Mapcode National: GBR 833.RQS

Mapcode Global: VHCZX.TPZY

Entry Name: A section of a linear earthwork south west of Great Litchfield Down

Scheduled Date: 13 November 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012039

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25617

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Litchfield and Woodcott

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Whitchurch with Tufton with Litchfield

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The monument includes a section of an upstanding linear earthwork south west
of Great Litchfield Down. Another section of this earthwork lies c.1.1km
further to the north east and is the subject of a separate scheduling.
Ascending the steep north side of a dry valley, the earthwork curves from
south to NNE towards the scarp at the western edge of Great Litchfield Down, a
distance of c.402m. The earthwork has been levelled and infilled by
cultivation to the north and there is no known evidence that it extended
beyond the dry valley to the south. The feature, which consists of a bank to
the west of a ditch, has a maximum overall width of 9.5m. The bank rises to a
maximum height of 0.4m above the surrounding ground surface and the ditch has
a maximum depth of 0.6m.
All fencing and associated posts are excluded from the scheduling but the
ground beneath them 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.

Much of the archaeological landscape of the downs around Ladle Hill is
preserved as earthworks or crop- or soil-marks, which together will provide a
detailed understanding of the nature and development of agriculture and
settlement on the north Hampshire downs.
The linear earthwork south west of Great Litchfield Down forms part of the
wider distribution of monuments of Bronze Age and later date on the downs. The
earthwork will contain archaeological and environmental information relating
to the construction and use of the monument.

Source: Historic England

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