Ancient Monuments

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Three associated linear earthworks on Martin Down

A Scheduled Monument in Cranborne,

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Latitude: 50.965 / 50°57'53"N

Longitude: -1.9168 / 1°55'0"W

OS Eastings: 405938.625

OS Northings: 118396.0209

OS Grid: SU059183

Mapcode National: GBR 413.G6S

Mapcode Global: FRA 66WK.F2L

Entry Name: Three associated linear earthworks on Martin Down

Scheduled Date: 7 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012137

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25619

Civil Parish: Cranborne

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Martin All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes three convergent linear earthworks of probable Bronze
Age or Iron Age date on the lower north eastern slope of Blagdon Hill, part of
the Martin Down National Nature Reserve.
The longest, middle, earthwork of the three runs from south west to north
east; the northern earthwork curves towards it from the WSW and the third
approaches from the south. The earthworks converge c.35m north west of a bowl
barrow, the subject of a separate scheduling.
The central earthwork runs obliquely down the steep central part of the north
eastern slope of Blagdon Hill. The feature has an overall length of c.202m and
consists, on the steep slope, of a break in the slope or a low bank between 3m
and 4m wide and up to 0.15m high. On the lower, less steep, part of the slope
the earthwork takes the form of a ditch and bank at its north west. Together
these have an overall width of c.9m, the ditch being c.4.5m wide and having a
maximum depth of 0.35m below the top of the bank.
The northern earthwork is c.145m long and consists for much of its length of a
low bank, up to 4.5m wide and 0.15m high, with a drop of up to 0.7m at its
northern side. Towards its eastern end the bank is replaced by an irregular
mound, beyond which, after being crossed by a modern track, the earthwork
continues for c.20m as a ditch with a bank at its northern side. The bank and
ditch have an overall width of c.9.5m, the ditch being c.6m wide and having a
maximum depth of 0.8m below the top of the bank.
The southern earthwork, a ditch with bank at its west, is c.60m long and has
an overall width of 7m. The ditch is c.3.5m wide and has a maximum depth of
0.35m below the top of the bank. The ditches of the three earthworks appear to

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

Martin Down and the surrounding area contain a variety of well-preserved
archaeological remains, largely by virtue of the fact that 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 landscape of central southern England.

Much of the archaeological landscape of Martin Down is preserved as earthworks
or soil- or crop-marks, which together will provide a detailed understanding
of the nature and development of early land division, agriculture and
settlement. The three convergent earthworks on Martin Down survive well and
are part of the wider distribution of prehistoric monuments constructed on
Martin Down. These were recently the subject of a detailed survey by the Royal
Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. All three features will
contain archaeological and environmental information relating to their
construction and use.

Source: Historic England

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