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380m section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch 200m ENE of Kiddington Lodge

A Scheduled Monument in Spelsbury, Oxfordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8911 / 51°53'28"N

Longitude: -1.4191 / 1°25'8"W

OS Eastings: 440070.709256

OS Northings: 221555.323115

OS Grid: SP400215

Mapcode National: GBR 6TJ.G14

Mapcode Global: VHBZJ.CQ3M

Entry Name: 380m section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch 200m ENE of Kiddington Lodge

Scheduled Date: 9 April 1951

Last Amended: 4 October 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012904

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21848

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Spelsbury

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Enstone

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

Details

The monument includes a 380m long section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's
Ditch running broadly east to west, 200m east of Kiddington Lodge.
This section of Grim's Ditch includes a bank, berm, ditch and palisade ditch.
The rampart bank has been cut by the drive from Ditchley House to Kiddington
and a further track to the south west, but is otherwise visible as a
continuous earthwork 5m wide and 1.5m high. To the north of the bank lies a
1.5m wide berm which separates the rampart from a 5.8m wide ditch, originally
open to a depth of 1.5m. This ditch has become infilled where the tracks cut
the bank and has accumulated a partial fill of silt along the remainder of the
section. However, it is still visible as an open feature up to 0.7m deep.
At a distance of c.3.75m beyond the outside edge of the ditch lies a narrow
trench, no longer visible at ground level but known from excavation elsewhere
to measure 0.5m wide and 0.2m deep. This will survive as a buried feature
below the modern ground level. Originally, this narrow trench and the top of
the rampart would have supported wooden palisade fences up to c.1m high. These
would have provided an added element of the defensive system while also
preventing cattle and other livestock from falling into the ditch.
Excluded from the scheduling are the modern road surfaces and the post
and wire fence bounding the eastern track, although the land beneath these
features is included in the scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT
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

The north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch is a series of discrete linear earthworks
of Iron Age date which together make up at least one segmented circuit,
situated between the valleys of the Rivers Evenlode, Glyme and Windrush in an
area of the eastern Cotswolds. In recent years evidence for an outer
concentric circuit has come to light, largely from the study of cropmarks
visible on aerial photographs. The area enclosed by the inner circuit is 12 sq
km and the outer circuit encloses between 60 and 70 sq km. The earthworks
which define this area were only built in open country leaving apparent gaps
in the areas previously forested.
Where visible, the Grim's Ditch always includes a rampart of dumped earth and
stone, a berm and outer ditch and, in places, a narrow palisade trench beyond.
It is believed that, together, these components served to enclose and divide
an area of land and provide control over access through the open country which
existed between heavily forested areas.
The ditch is Iron Age in date and provides evidence of how the landscape was
managed and divided in the period immediately prior to the Roman Conquest. The
high concentration of sites representing Iron Age ritual and agricultural
activity which occur within the area defined by the ditch confirms the view
that it served to define an area which was of particular significance to its
builders.
All sections surviving as visible earthworks, and sections identified by
aerial photography which are integral to a general understanding of the nature
and extent of Grim's Ditch, will normally merit statutory protection.

The section of Grim's Ditch 200m ENE of Kiddington Lodge on Kiddington Drive
survives well and, despite being cut by the later road, will contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and the
landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Copeland, T, 'Oxoniensia' in The North Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch, (1984), 289, 1b
Harden, D B, 'Oxoniensia' in Excavations On The North Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch 1935-6, (1939), 77-
Other
Title: 1:10000 Series Ordnance Survey
Source Date: 1981
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:
SP 32 SE & SP 42 SW
Title: 1st Edition Ordnance Survey
Source Date: 1833
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:
6"

Source: Historic England

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