Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch running into the northern edge of Shilcott Wood on the Ditchley Estate

A Scheduled Monument in Charlbury, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8936 / 51°53'36"N

Longitude: -1.4616 / 1°27'41"W

OS Eastings: 437144.343706

OS Northings: 221807.822342

OS Grid: SP371218

Mapcode National: GBR 6TG.991

Mapcode Global: VHBZH.MN5Q

Entry Name: Section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch running into the northern edge of Shilcott Wood on the Ditchley Estate

Scheduled Date: 26 July 1995

Last Amended: 15 May 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014578

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21858

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Charlbury

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Spelsbury

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a c.750m long section of the north Oxfordshire Grim's
Ditch running from WSW-ENE into the northern edge of Shilcott Wood on the
Ditchley Estate.
The western 350m of this section has been reduced by cultivation but survives
as a low bank and buried ditch visible on aerial photographs. The section to
the east, within Shilcott Wood, survives as a rampart bank 6m wide and up to
1.7m high. To the north of this lies a 4m wide berm and a partially infilled
ditch up to 12m wide. This ditch is visible as an open feature 0.5m deep where
it is not obscured by vegetation.
This section forms part of an outer circuit of Grim's Ditch, roughly 1km north
of the main ditch line. Excluded from the scheduling are the post and wire
fence boundaries and the metalled road surfaces which cross it, although the
ground beneath all of these features 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

Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or
multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between
less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features
visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The
evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that
their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although
they may have been re-used later.
The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were
constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries
in the landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of
their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious
associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those
groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance
for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age; all well
preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.

The section of Grim's Ditch running into the northern edge of Shilcott Wood
survives well as an upstanding earthwork feature and will contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and the
landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Copeland, T, 'Oxoniensia' in The North Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch : A Fieldwork Survey, (1984), 280
Crawford, O G S, 'Antiquity' in The North Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch, , Vol. IV, 15, (1930)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series
Source Date:

Source: Historic England

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