Ancient Monuments

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A linear earthwork north east of West Woodyates Manor: part of the `Bokerley Line'

A Scheduled Monument in Sixpenny Handley and Pentridge, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.9785 / 50°58'42"N

Longitude: -1.968 / 1°58'4"W

OS Eastings: 402342.8365

OS Northings: 119898.0501

OS Grid: SU023198

Mapcode National: GBR 40V.F8R

Mapcode Global: FRA 66RJ.K3B

Entry Name: A linear earthwork north east of West Woodyates Manor: part of the `Bokerley Line'

Scheduled Date: 7 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012138

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25620

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 includes a levelled linear earthwork, part of the `Bokerley
Line', a series of earthworks associated with and augmenting the western end
of Bokerley Dyke. The earthwork is between 25m and 60m south of another
component of the `Bokerley Line' and c.114m south of the western end of
Bokerley Dyke itself, both of which are the subject of separate schedulings.
Of probable Iron Age or Roman date, the earthwork may have been associated
with attempts to prevent incursion into what is now Dorset by blocking routes
from the north, east and west.
The earthwork, which lies west of the lane between Woodyates and Cobley, runs
broadly from west to east, obliquely crossing the line of a very shallow dry
valley. The infilled ditch, which is visible on the ground and on aerial
photographs as soil- and crop-marks, is c.264m long and has a maximum width of
c.20m. Recent Ordnance Survey maps show the ditch to have had a bank up to 8m
wide, now levelled, at its southern side.

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 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'. The dyke continued in use after the
cessation of Roman administration and still forms part of the boundary between
the counties of Hampshire and Dorset. Bokerley Dyke and the archaeology of the
surrounding area were recently the subject of a detailed survey by the Royal
Commission on the Historical Monuments of England.
The linear earthwork north east of West Woodyates Manor forms an integral part
of the `Bokerley Line'. Despite being levelled, the infilled ditch of the
earthwork and features underneath the bank will survive, containing
archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction and
use of the monument.

Source: Historic England

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