Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Highworth circle 520m north west of North Leaze Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Highworth, Swindon

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Latitude: 51.6609 / 51°39'39"N

Longitude: -1.7289 / 1°43'43"W

OS Eastings: 418851.195503

OS Northings: 195822.235761

OS Grid: SU188958

Mapcode National: GBR 4T5.V08

Mapcode Global: VHB31.ZJD4

Entry Name: Highworth circle 520m north west of North Leaze Farm

Scheduled Date: 8 September 1949

Last Amended: 29 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016382

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28953

County: Swindon

Civil Parish: Highworth

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Highworth with Sevenhampton and Inglesham

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


The monument includes an earthwork enclosure, known as a Highworth circle,
located 520m north west of North Leaze Farm. The site lies on a clay plain
with Crouch Hill to the south and the River Thames to the north. The enclosure
is approximately circular and survives partly as a low earthwork which
includes a ditch surrounded by an outer bank. The remainder of the circuit is
visible on aerial photographs which allows an overall diameter of 75m to be

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

Highworth circles are a type of earthwork enclosure found mostly in north east
Wiltshire, with a few outliers north of the Thames in Oxfordshire. Although
they are known as `circles' their form varies from circular or sub-circular
with diameters of between 40m and 90m, to sub-rectangular. All have a wide
flat bottomed ditch with an external bank. Despite limited fieldwork and
excavation their date remains uncertain. Although sharing characteristics with
henge monuments of Neolithic date, Highworth circles, located almost entirely
within the Hundred of Highworth, may be suggested as being of Medieval date,
possibly constructed for stock management. Over 40 examples have been
recorded, many of them reduced by modern cultivation.
All examples exhibiting significant survival of archaeological remains will
normally be identified as nationally important.
Despite some damage, the Highworth circle 520m north west of North Leaze Farm
will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the
monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England

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