Ancient Monuments

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Devil's ditch: boundary earthwork

A Scheduled Monument in Shipton Bellinger, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.2125 / 51°12'44"N

Longitude: -1.6904 / 1°41'25"W

OS Eastings: 421722.571966

OS Northings: 145963.369713

OS Grid: SU217459

Mapcode National: GBR 4ZM.ZC4

Mapcode Global: VHC2N.NS7D

Entry Name: Devil's ditch: boundary earthwork

Scheduled Date: 6 March 1990

Last Amended: 3 January 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015434

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10202

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Shipton Bellinger

Built-Up Area: Shipton Bellinger

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Shipton Bellinger St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The monuments includes four sections of the `Devil's Ditch' boundary earthwork
and two associated barrows. The earthwork is a Late Bronze Age or Iron Age
boundary earthwork followed for much of its length by the Wiltshire/Hampshire
county boundary. Its construction and/or survival vary greatly along its
length. In places it is represented by a ditch flanked by two banks, elsewhere
it is represented by a ditch alone. Much of the earthwork is wooded and there
is localised damage by tracks. The northern section survives as a
bank/ditch/bank c.20m wide; the central sections survive as a ditch
occasionally with vague traces of a bank or banks; the southern section is
heavily wooded and disturbed by tracks.
The monument also includes two barrows associated with the `Devil's Ditch'.
The northernmost barrow has an overall diameter of c.20m and is surrounded by
a tree ring (SU 2128 4797). The southernmost bowl barrow has an overall
diameter of 16m. The ditch and bank are probably a tree ring (SU 2129 4794).
Both barrows are cut to the west by the `Devil's Ditch'.

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, particularly in
those areas lying within the Salisbury Plain Training Area. 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.
Boundary earthworks which include linear earthworks, so called ranch
boundaries, dykes and cross ridge dykes are particularly well preserved in the
Salisbury Plain Training Area. They provide important evidence of prehistoric
landholdings, land reorganisation and changing agricultural practices through

Source: Historic England


Trust for Wessex Archaeology, (1987)
Wiltshire Library & Museum Service, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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