Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Square earthwork enclosure 450m north west of Baltic Farm on Morgan's Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Bishops Cannings, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4024 / 51°24'8"N

Longitude: -1.9438 / 1°56'37"W

OS Eastings: 404004.213609

OS Northings: 167038.6488

OS Grid: SU040670

Mapcode National: GBR 3VV.1D5

Mapcode Global: VHB49.807S

Entry Name: Square earthwork enclosure 450m north west of Baltic Farm on Morgan's Hill

Scheduled Date: 10 November 1964

Last Amended: 6 February 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014032

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21899

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 roughly square earthwork enclosure situated 450m north
west of Baltic Farm on Morgan's Hill 130m north of the Wansdyke.
The enclosure is aligned on an east west axis and is surrounded by a bank c.3m
wide and up to 0.6m high. Beyond this lies a c.4m wide quarry ditch which
remains open to a depth of 1m in places. The whole is surrounded by a low
counter-scarp bank c.2m wide and up to 0.4m high. The area enclosed measures
c.180m square and covers about 3.25ha. The earthworks are more or less
continuous around the whole circuit but three entrances, c.8m wide, are
located in the south west corner, just south of the north west corner and
roughly midway along the western side. It is not possible to determine how
many of these are original.
No longer visible at ground level, but clearly seen on aerial photographs, is
a roughly oval levelled bank which is aligned east-west. It is located in the
central southern half of the enclosure. This bank is c.10m wide and encloses
an area 40m from east-west by c.25m from north-south.
Part excavation in 1909 recovered a quantity of medieval pottery from the
surface of the monument but no datable finds related to its original
Excluded from the scheduling are the post and wire fences which run along the
southern and part of the eastern sides of the enclosure bank, although the
ground beneath 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

Earthen enclosures provide evidence of land use and agricultural practices in
the prehistoric and Romano-British period, although later examples are also
known. They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop
growing and were sometimes subdivided to provide temporary accommodation for
stock, farmers or herdsmen. The size and form of enclosures may vary
considerably depending on their particular function.
Their variation in form, longevity and their relationship to other monument
classes, including extensive field systems, provide information on the
diversity and social organisation and farming practices through the period of
their use.
Twelve examples are recorded in the Avebury area, which acted as a focus for
ceremonial and ritual activity during at least the Neolithic and Early Bronze
Age periods. Later the area was settled mostly by agricultural communities,
with the area intensively farmed through to the medieval period and beyond.
The enclosures in the Avebury area are central to understanding the character
of this development. All surviving examples are considered worthy of

The enclosure 450m north west of Baltic Farm survives well and is known from
part excavation and aerial photographs to include below ground remains which
will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its
construction and the landscape in which it was built.
This is the largest example of its type in the Avebury area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'A HISTORY OF WILTSHIRE' in Earthwork Enclosures, , Vol. 1,1, (1957), 262
SU 06 NW 455 SMR special file, C.A.O., AER 1712-3;C/772, (1974)
SU 06 NW WANSDYKE LINEAR, R C H M (E), Wansdyke, (1974)
SU06NW 455, C.A.O., Square earthwork enclosing 9 acres, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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