Ancient Monuments

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900m section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch 200m north of Grim's Dyke Farm, running north into Hark Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Glympton, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8769 / 51°52'36"N

Longitude: -1.3879 / 1°23'16"W

OS Eastings: 442235.5922

OS Northings: 219988.9634

OS Grid: SP422199

Mapcode National: GBR 7W2.9Y1

Mapcode Global: VHBZQ.W3N0

Entry Name: 900m section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch 200m north of Grim's Dyke Farm, running north into Hark Wood

Scheduled Date: 9 April 1951

Last Amended: 4 October 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012907

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21851

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Glympton

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 900m long section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's
Ditch running from a point 200m north of Grim's Dyke Farm north into Hark
Wood. The ditch crosses a narrow valley known as Slape Bottom where a stream
passes through a narrow gap in the bank.
This section of Grim's Ditch has a bank, berm, ditch and palisade trench.
The rampart bank is built of earth and stone and measures c.8m wide and stands
up to 1.5m high. Beyond this, to the east, lies a 1.5m wide berm and a 6.5m
wide ditch, open in places to a depth of 0.7m. This ditch has become infilled
over the years and is used as a track where it runs north of Slape Bottom.
Originally it would have been open to a depth of c.1.5m.
It is known from excavations on other sections that a palisade trench 0.5m
wide and 0.2m deep lies c.3.5m east of the outer ditch edge. This will survive
buried below the modern ground level.
Excluded from the scheduling are all post and wire fences which cross the
monument, the foot bridge and the surface of the track near the northern end
of the section, although the ground beneath all of the above is included in
the scheduling.

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.

This section of Grim's Ditch will contain archaeological and environmental
evidence relating to its construction and the landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Harden, D B, 'Oxoniensia' in Excavations On The North Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch 1935-6, (1939), 76-
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series
Source Date: 1981
SP 41 NW
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series
Source Date: 1981
SP 42 SW

Source: Historic England

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