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Romano-British settlement on Winterbourne Stoke Down

A Scheduled Monument in Winterbourne Stoke, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1811 / 51°10'51"N

Longitude: -1.8736 / 1°52'24"W

OS Eastings: 408930.864988

OS Northings: 142437.099546

OS Grid: SU089424

Mapcode National: GBR 3YG.TBY

Mapcode Global: VHB59.GKVX

Entry Name: Romano-British settlement on Winterbourne Stoke Down

Scheduled Date: 18 April 1955

Last Amended: 31 January 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015222

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28943

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Winterbourne Stoke

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Winterbourne Stoke St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a Romano-British settlement, a square earthwork
enclosure which overlies the settlement, a length of linear earthwork, part of
a field system and a dew pond. All are situated on a south facing slope of
Winterbourne Stoke Down, south of the A360 Shrewton to Salisbury Road.
The area of settlement includes the substantial earthwork remains of
rectangular house platforms associated with lynchets which run across the
slope. The southern part of the settlement is overlain by a square earthwork
enclosure which has a bank 3m wide and 0.5m high together with a shallow outer
ditch. This has been interpreted as a medieval stock pen. The western side of
this enclosure reuses the bank of a linear boundary earthwork which is
included in the scheduling. This earthwork, which survives here as a low bank
with an associated shallow ditch, is part of a more extensive feature linking
this area of settlement with another some 750m to the north. A further extant
section of this linear earthwork c.350m northwards is part of a separate
scheduling. The section of the linear earthwork which lies between these two
schedulings has been levelled by cultivation and disturbed by military
activity and is no longer considered to be of national importance. Also
included in the scheduling is part of a field system which lies to the east,
west and south of the main settlement area. Here it survives as a series of
parallel lynchets which extend 110m eastwards from the western boundary of the
settlement and for approximately 90m from its eastern limits. Beyond this
further traces of field system are visible on aerial photographs but can no
longer be recognised on the ground and are not included in the scheduling.
A dew pond, or reservoir is also included in the scheduling. This is situated
just north of the main focus of settlement and is formed by steep banks on the
east, west and south sides and a lower bank on the north side. The south bank
utilises part of a lynchet which lies at right angles to the linear boundary
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath
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

The most complete and extensive survival of chalk downland archaeological
remains in central southern England occurs on Salisbury Plain. These remains
represent one of the few extant archaeological `landscapes' in Britain and are
considered to be of special significance because they differ in character from
those in other areas with comparable levels of preservation. Individual sites
on Salisbury Plain are seen as being additionally important because the
evidence of their direct association with each other survives so well.
Romano-British villages surviving as earthworks are rare nationally, as are
any associations with contemporary field systems or other landholdings. The
importance of the example on Winterbourne Stoke Down is considerably enhanced
by the demonstrable relationship between the settlements, field systems and
major boundary earthworks which provide unusually complete evidence of human
reorganisation of the landscape. The remains of the Romano-British settlement
on Winterbourne Stoke Down are well preserved and will contain archaeological
remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape
in which it was constructed.
Linear earthworks, which may have functioned as boundaries or as trackways
providing communications between individual settlements and linking occupation
areas with their fields, are well represented in the Salisbury Plain area. The
linear earthwork which linked the two areas of settlement on Winterbourne
Stoke Down survives comparatively well in places and has the potential to
provide valuable information relating to the monument and the landscape in
which it was constructed.
Well preserved field systems are rare nationally. They provide important
evidence of a carefully planned reorganisation of the landscape and
definition of landholdings. The field system around the area of the settlement
on Winterbourne Stoke Down survives well despite erosion of its margins by
cultivation. The well preserved earthworks show a clear relationship with
those of the Romano-British settlement.
The earthwork enclosure on Winterbourne Stoke will provide important evidence
of land use in the medieval period and of its relationship with the settlement
and the surrounding field system.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 127
Grinsell, LV, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume V, (1957), 159
Cunnington, M E, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, , Vol. 45, (1930), 209

Source: Historic England

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