Ancient Monuments

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Two sections of a linear earthwork north of West Woodyates Manor: part of the `Bokerley Line'

A Scheduled Monument in Sixpenny Handley and Pentridge, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.9791 / 50°58'44"N

Longitude: -1.9724 / 1°58'20"W

OS Eastings: 402030.643308

OS Northings: 119965.421233

OS Grid: SU020199

Mapcode National: GBR 40V.D57

Mapcode Global: FRA 66RJ.9DY

Entry Name: Two sections of a linear earthwork north of West Woodyates Manor: part of the `Bokerley Line'

Scheduled Date: 8 June 1925

Last Amended: 7 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012136

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25618

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Sixpenny Handley and Pentridge

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Sixpenny Handley with Gussage St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument, which falls into two areas, includes a linear earthwork forming
part of the `Bokerley Line', a series of earthworks associated with and
augmenting Bokerley Dyke. The earthwork, lying to the north of West Woodyates
Manor, runs from west to east, its eastern end overlapping with the western
end of Bokerley Dyke, which is between c.80m and c.65m further to the north.
The earthwork may have been associated with an Iron Age settlement north of
Bokerley Junction; the associated gap through Bokerley Dyke is now occupied by
the A354 road and formerly by the Roman road between Sorviodunum (Old Sarum)
and Vindocladia (Badbury).
The longer western section of the earthwork rises from a shallow dry valley
and crosses gently undulating ground until intersected by the lane between
Woodyates and Cobley; it runs for a distance of c.895m. An upstanding section
of the earthwork survives in Hill Copse but elsewhere the feature has been
levelled and infilled, its course being known from soilmarks and cropmarks
visible on aerial photographs. The upstanding section of the earthwork is
c.211m long and consists of a ditch up to c.7m wide and with a maximum depth
of 0.7m. Ground level at the north side of the ditch appears higher than that
to the south and there are traces of possible banks at both sides; these
survive to 0.2m high and 2.5m wide.
The earthwork is also levelled and infilled to the east of the lane, where it
extends for a further c.76m until truncated by a large, circular platform
constructed during World War II.
All fencing and associated posts are excluded from the scheduling, although
the ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Martin Down and the surrounding area contain a variety of well-preserved
archaeological remains, largely because the area has been unaffected by modern
agriculture and development. This variety of site types and the quality of
their preservation are relatively unusual in the largely arable landscapes of
central southern England.
Bokerley Dyke probably originated in the Bronze Age or Early Iron Age. It was
an important political and cultural boundary dividing areas with markedly
different patterns of land division. Once established, the dyke remained in
use, adapted and remodelled to suit the needs of later periods. These included
the more defensive requirements of the later Iron Age and Roman periods and it
was possibly then that the dyke became the focus of the associated series of
earthworks making up the `Bokerley Line' of which this monument forms a part.
Bokerley Dyke still forms part of the modern boundary between the counties of
Hampshire and Dorset. The dyke and its associated earthworks were recently the
subject of a survey by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of
The linear earthwork north of West Woodyates forms an integral part of the
`Bokerley Line', and, although partly levelled and infilled, will contain
archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction and
use of the monument.

Source: Historic England

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