Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Enclosure and field system on the north side of Cheverton Down, immediately east of Rowborough Bottom

A Scheduled Monument in Shorwell, Isle of Wight

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Latitude: 50.6593 / 50°39'33"N

Longitude: -1.3671 / 1°22'1"W

OS Eastings: 444833.2045

OS Northings: 84594.931779

OS Grid: SZ448845

Mapcode National: GBR 8BT.H6K

Mapcode Global: FRA 870B.K6V

Entry Name: Enclosure and field system on the north side of Cheverton Down, immediately east of Rowborough Bottom

Scheduled Date: 6 August 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016006

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26842

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: Shorwell

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Church of England Parish: Shorwell with Kingston St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth


The monument includes an earthwork enclosure and field system lying on the
northern slope of Cheverton Down immediately south of Fern Bottom. The
rectangular earthwork enclosure, the longer sides of which are aligned
NNW-SSE, lies within the eastern part of an extensive field system. The lower
part of the field system is defined by a substantial lynchet which, within the
area of the monument, is associated with additional cross slope lynchets and
downslope banks. These, together with some substantial but more dispersed
sections of bank, define an extensive area of enclosure for cultivation. The
lower lynchet extends beyond the eastern and western limits of the monument
but, in these areas it is unassociated with any further recorded elements of
field system and is not included within the scheduling.
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

Earthen enclosures occur throught the country, the intensity of their
distribution determined by local topography and the nature of the agricultural
system prevalent within the region. They provide evidence of land use and
agricultural practices in both the prehistoric and historic period and were a
common feature of the countryside. 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 monuments
classes, including field systems, provide information on the diversity and
social organisation of farming practices throughout the period of their use.
The enclosure on Cheverton Down is a well preserved example of its class and
will contain archaeological deposits providing information about past land
use, ecomnomy and environment. The associated field system is also well
preserved and, in its relationship with the enclosure, which may have provided
a settlement or agricultural focus, is of importance in understanding the
character and development of downland agriculture.

Source: Historic England

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