Ancient Monuments

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145m section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch situated 200m west of Grimsdyke Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Kiddington with Asterleigh, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8913 / 51°53'28"N

Longitude: -1.412 / 1°24'43"W

OS Eastings: 440558.480737

OS Northings: 221573.756009

OS Grid: SP405215

Mapcode National: GBR 6TJ.HT7

Mapcode Global: VHBZJ.GQWJ

Entry Name: 145m section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch situated 200m west of Grimsdyke Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 April 1951

Last Amended: 4 October 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012905

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21849

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Kiddington with Asterleigh

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Wootton, Glympton and Kiddington

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a short section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch
situated 200m west of Grimsdyke Farm. The ditch runs from west to east down
a gentle slope before forming the north eastern turn of the ditch system. Here
it probably abutted the edge of a contemporary wood.
This section of the monument includes a 5m wide rampart. This originally stood
c.1.5m high but has been reduced by cultivation to a low stone spread visible
as a slight rise in an arable field c.0.2m high. It is known from excavation
and aerial photographs that a 1.5m wide berm lies to the north of this,
separating the rampart from a 5.8m wide and 1.5m deep ditch. This ditch was
originally open but it has become infilled over the years and now survives
below the modern ploughsoil.
From evidence recovered on other sections of the Grim's Ditch, it is known
that a palisade trench 0.5m wide and c.0.2m deep is situated c.3.75m north of
the outside edge of the ditch. This would have contained a wooden fence or
palisade c.1m high which would have added to the defences and prevented cattle
and other stock from falling into the ditch.

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
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.

Despite reduction by cultivation, the section of Grim's Ditch west of
Grimsdyke Farm will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating
to its construction and the landscape in which it was built.
This section occupies the north eastern corner of the ditch system.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Copeland, T, 'Oxoniensia' in The North Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch : A Fieldwork Survey, (1984), 289-
Harden, D B, 'Oxoniensia' in Excavations On The North Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch 1935-6, (1939), 77-
Title: Ordnance Survey 1st Edition
Source Date: 1833
6" Series
Vertical, R.C.H.M.(E), RAF SP$'SW; FAS 6125 / 12.038, (1840)

Source: Historic England

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