Ancient Monuments

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The western of two linear earthworks north of West Woodyates Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Sixpenny Handley and Pentridge, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.9761 / 50°58'33"N

Longitude: -1.9792 / 1°58'45"W

OS Eastings: 401555.53789

OS Northings: 119627.682009

OS Grid: SU015196

Mapcode National: GBR 2ZH.QG0

Mapcode Global: FRA 66RJ.LR1

Entry Name: The western of two linear earthworks north of West Woodyates Manor

Scheduled Date: 11 April 1979

Last Amended: 7 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012139

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25622

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 the western of two linear earthworks north of West
Woodyates Manor, both of which may form an outlying part of the `Bokerley
Line', a series of earthworks associated with and augmenting the western end
of Bokerley Dyke. The date of the earthwork is uncertain, but it may be
contemporary with other linear earthworks at the western end of Bokerley Dyke
which are of probable Iron Age or Roman date. The second earthwork is the
subject of a separate scheduling.
The earthwork runs down the western slope of a shallow dry valley, its
slightly angled course running broadly from WSW to ENE before turning sharply
to the south east at the eastern end. The earthwork is c.134m long, of which
the south east facing section at the eastern end forms only c.8m, and consists
of a ditch with a bank at its southern side. The ditch is c.3.5m wide and
falls to a maximum depth of 0.5m below the top of the 2.5m wide bank. The bank
has a maximum height of 0.35m above the adjoining ground level to the north.
The second earthwork lies c.50m to the east and is offset to the north by
All fencing, gates and associated posts are excluded from the scheduling,
although 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

Martin Down and the surrounding area contain a variety of well-preserved
archaeological remains, 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 probably then that the dyke became the focus of the associated series
of earthworks making up the `Bokerley Line'. 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 England.
The western linear earthwork north of West Woodyates Manor probably forms an
outlying part of the `Bokerley Line'. The earthwork survives well and will
contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the
construction and use of the monument.

Source: Historic England

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