Ancient Monuments

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Lynchets 850m west of Ridgeway Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Bishopstone, Swindon

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Latitude: 51.5412 / 51°32'28"N

Longitude: -1.6501 / 1°39'0"W

OS Eastings: 424360.75289

OS Northings: 182534.074318

OS Grid: SU243825

Mapcode National: GBR 5X4.9MC

Mapcode Global: VHC14.CJ0C

Entry Name: Lynchets 850m west of Ridgeway Farm

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016327

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28982

County: Swindon

Civil Parish: Bishopstone

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Bishopstone with Hinton Parva

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument, which lies in two separate areas, includes two groups of
medieval strip lynchets. They are situated 850m west of Ridgeway Farm in an
elevated location close to the Ridgeway, at the upper end of a dry valley
which runs down to the village of Bishopstone. The site has extensive views
northwards across the village and beyond that across the Upper Thames Valley.
The smaller and more westerly group of lynchets is oriented north-south and
located at the top of the valley. It consists of four risers and treads - the
scarps and platforms of such systems - and is 150m in length. The larger
group, some 50m to the east, contains eight sets of risers and treads, and is
260m in length. It occupies a distinctive location on the steep north-facing
side of the dry valley, making the earthworks visible over a considerable
area. Small scale excavation in 1954 and 1955 revealed details of the
development of the system, together with samples of environmental evidence.
A related group of lynchets survive on land flanking the southern margin of
the valley, but this group has been altered by post-medieval or recent
ploughing and has not been included in 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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Strip lynchets provide distinctive indications of medieval cultivation. They
occur widely in southern and south eastern England, and are prominent
features on the Wessex chalkland. Each lynchet or terrace has two
components, consisting of a scarp or `riser' and flat strip or `tread'. They
can be up to 200m in length, and whilst many systems include only two or
three lynchets, some have five, six or more - as in the present case.
The strip lynchet system at Bishopstone is in excellent condition and is a
good example of its type. Small scale excavation has indicated that the
monument contains archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating
to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Wood, P, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Strip Lynchets at Bishopstone, near Swindon, Wilts, , Vol. 56, (1956), 12-18
Wood, P, 'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Second Excavation of Strip Lynchets at Bishopstone, , Vol. 57, (1958), 18-23

Source: Historic England

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