Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Highworth circle 470m north east of North Leaze Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Highworth, Swindon

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Latitude: 51.6604 / 51°39'37"N

Longitude: -1.7222 / 1°43'19"W

OS Eastings: 419314.734822

OS Northings: 195773.96007

OS Grid: SU193957

Mapcode National: GBR 4T5.WZ3

Mapcode Global: VHC0J.3JFG

Entry Name: Highworth circle 470m north east of North Leaze Farm

Scheduled Date: 8 September 1949

Last Amended: 29 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016384

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28965

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 470m north east of North Leaze Farm. The site lies on a clay plain
with the River Thames to the north and the River Cole to the east. The
enclosure is formed by a circular ditch 15m wide and 1m deep, surrounded by an
outer bank 15m wide and 0.6m high and has an overall diameter of 106m.
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

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 to 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.
The Highworth circle 470m north east of North Leaze Farm is well preserved and
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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