Ancient Monuments

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Enclosed Iron Age farmstead 450m south of Down Barn on Bishop's Cannings Down

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4014 / 51°24'5"N

Longitude: -1.9087 / 1°54'31"W

OS Eastings: 406448.479114

OS Northings: 166937.478343

OS Grid: SU064669

Mapcode National: GBR 3VW.483

Mapcode Global: VHB49.V1TH

Entry Name: Enclosed Iron Age farmstead 450m south of Down Barn on Bishop's Cannings Down

Scheduled Date: 9 August 1957

Last Amended: 13 September 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013230

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21867

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Bishops Cannings

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Bishop's Cannings and Etchilhampton St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a quadrilateral enclosed farmstead, believed to be of
Iron Age date, situated 450m south of Down Barn on Bishop's Cannings Down.
The earthwork has a single bank and ditch enclosing an area measuring 100m
from north to south and 70m from east to west. Although largely reduced by
cultivation, the bank can be defined as a slight earthwork.
The ditch has become infilled over the years but survives as a buried feature
c.2.5m wide which can be seen on aerial photographs.

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 size and form of Iron Age enclosed settlements vary considerably from
single farmsteads up to large semi-urban oppida. Farmsteads are generally
represented by curvilinear enclosures containing evidence of a small group of
circular domestic buildings and associated agricultural structures. Where
excavated, these sites are also found to contain storage pits for grain and
other produce, evidence of an organised and efficient farming system. The
surrounding enclosures would have provided protection against cattle rustling
and tribal raiding.
In central southern England, most enclosed Iron Age farmsteads are situated in
areas which are now under intensive arable cultivation. As a result, although
some examples survive with upstanding earthworks, the majority have been
recorded as crop- and soil-marks appearing on aerial photographs.

The enclosed Iron Age farmstead on Bishop's Cannings Down survives in the form
of both buried and upstanding remains: the enclosure ditch is visible on
aerial photographs while the bank remains upstanding despite reduction in its
height caused by cultivation. The enclosure is situated close to the Wansdyke
which is believed to be of similar date. Such a relationship will provide
evidence of land ownership and management during the Iron Age period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'A History of Wiltshire' in Gazeteer of Sites, , Vol. 1, 1, (), 262
SU 06 NE 091, R.C.H.M.(E), Enclosure, (1973)
SU 06 NE Ordnance Survey base, C.A.O., SMR layer 1:10,000 Series, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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