Ancient Monuments

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Linear earthworks forming part of a field system on Bishop's Cannings Down

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.3978 / 51°23'51"N

Longitude: -1.9203 / 1°55'13"W

OS Eastings: 405641.366918

OS Northings: 166527.769839

OS Grid: SU056665

Mapcode National: GBR 3VW.7BJ

Mapcode Global: VHB49.N4P9

Entry Name: Linear earthworks forming part of a field system on Bishop's Cannings Down

Scheduled Date: 9 August 1957

Last Amended: 13 September 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013233

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21870

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 linear earthwork representing the remains of a field
system situated on Bishop's Cannings Down, considered to be medieval in date.
The earthworks include a linear bank and ditch running c.550m from north east
to south west before turning at a right angle to run south east for a further
90m. The bank, which has been reduced by cultivation, measures c.6m wide and
stands up to 0.2m high. Beyond the bank to the west, lies the ditch which has
become infilled over the years. This is visible on aerial photographs and
survives as a c.5m wide feature.
The ditch and bank are cut by two gaps on the north western side which appear
to be original field entrances at least 15m wide.
The field system originally extended for a much greater area over the Down,
and elements of it appear as faint traces on aerial photographs.
A square enclosure to the south of this surviving section of the field system
is believed to be a contemporary medieval animal enclosure. This is the
subject of a separate scheduling.
Excluded from the scheduling are the post and wire boundary fences which
cross the earthwork, although the ground beneath 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

The landscape around Avebury contains a wide range of archaeological
monuments belonging to the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods and part has
accordingly been included in the World Heritage Site designation. The later
archaeology of this landscape is also considered to be of importance,
illustrating the ways in which communities through time have both used it but
also continued to respect and recognise many of its original features.
The linear earthworks on Bishop's Cannings Down represent part of the
medieval use of the landscape. Although this is just a fragmentary survival of
what was originally a more extensive field system, and itself has been reduced
by later cultivation, it will retain archaeological and environmental evidence
relating to its construction and the landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England


AM 676, County List of Scheduled Monuments: Wiltshire, (1992)
Concerning length of landuse etc., JEFFERY, P.P., Discussion with Mr Frearson, occupier, (1994)
SU 06 NE 093, R.C.H.M.(E), Linear feature, (1973)
SU 06 NE 766 (Ordnance Survey base), C.A.O., SMR Map 1:10,000, (1980)

Source: Historic England

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