Ancient Monuments

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The eastern of two linear earthworks north of West Woodyates Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Sixpenny Handley and Pentridge, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.9764 / 50°58'35"N

Longitude: -1.9762 / 1°58'34"W

OS Eastings: 401764.421808

OS Northings: 119667.489416

OS Grid: SU017196

Mapcode National: GBR 2ZH.R66

Mapcode Global: FRA 66RJ.FXC

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

Scheduled Date: 11 April 1979

Last Amended: 7 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012140

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25623

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 eastern 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, which is c.180m long, runs on a slightly curved west to east
course across the eastern side of a shallow dry valley. The earthwork consists
of an irregular, broad ditch between 11.5m and 13m wide which peters out at
the west but ends in a rounded terminal at the east. There are no recognisable
banks. The depth of the ditch varies, its asymmetry enhanced by the slightly
higher ground level at the north; to the west, the ditch is 0.3m and 0.6m deep
at the south and north sides respectively, but to the east it deepens to 0.75m
and 1.2m.
The second earthwork lies c.50m to the west and is offset to the south by
All fencing, gates and associated posts and the track 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, 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 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 eastern 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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