Ancient Monuments

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Earthwork enclosure and dewpond 490m north of Barbury Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Wroughton, Swindon

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Latitude: 51.4897 / 51°29'22"N

Longitude: -1.7869 / 1°47'12"W

OS Eastings: 414890.487056

OS Northings: 176768.14776

OS Grid: SU148767

Mapcode National: GBR 4W6.K20

Mapcode Global: VHB3S.ZT6D

Entry Name: Earthwork enclosure and dewpond 490m north of Barbury Castle

Scheduled Date: 23 May 1957

Last Amended: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016357

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28949

County: Swindon

Civil Parish: Wroughton

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Wroughton

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument includes an earthwork enclosure which lies on the flat plain
below the downland escarpment occupied by Barbury Castle hillfort 490m to the
south. The enclosure is rectangular in plan with slightly rounded corners and
is 110m long by 100m wide. It is formed by a ditch up to 4m wide and up to 1m
deep and a slight inner bank. The north eastern corner of the enclosure is
partly overlain by a ditch constructed at a later date along its north side.
The eastern side of the enclosure is not visible at ground level but can be
traced on aerial photographs.
Internal features of the enclosure include three shallow terraces, aligned
from east to west, of which only two are now visible. A part excavation in the
19th century exposed the stone foundations of a wall along the ridge of the
second terrace and produced Roman pottery. Further finds of Roman material
suggest that the earthwork enclosure is of Roman date.
Also included in the monument is a dewpond situated at the south eastern
corner of the enclosure.
Further enclosures immediately to the north are the subject of a separate
All fence posts, cattle feeders and horse jumps are excluded from the
scheduling but 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

Earthen enclosures provide evidence of land use and agricultural practices in
the prehistoric and Romano-British period, although later examples are also
known. 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 monument
classes, including extensive field systems, provide information on the
diversity and social organisation and farming practices through the period of
their use.
The earthwork enclosure located 490m north of Barbury Castle survives well
and is known from part excavation to contain archaeological remains and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed. The later dewpond situated partly within the enclosure
illustrates continuity of use into the medieval or post-medieval period.

Source: Historic England

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