Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Four Highworth circles 150m north east of Pickett's Copse

A Scheduled Monument in Highworth, Swindon

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Latitude: 51.6146 / 51°36'52"N

Longitude: -1.7136 / 1°42'48"W

OS Eastings: 419928.668603

OS Northings: 190682.24473

OS Grid: SU199906

Mapcode National: GBR 4TR.RLB

Mapcode Global: VHC0Q.7PY3

Entry Name: Four Highworth circles 150m north east of Pickett's Copse

Scheduled Date: 3 September 1968

Last Amended: 28 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016386

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28969

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 four earthwork enclosures known as Highworth circles located 150m north east of Pickett's Copse.The site occupies the crest of a slope in gently undulating ground on the north eastern outskirts of Swindon.The four contiguous enclosures are approximately circular and survive partly as low earthworks which include a ditch surrounded by an outer bank.The overall diameter of the four enclosures can be calculated from surviving earthworks and from aerial photographic evidence as varying between 46m and 62m.An excavation carried out in 1969 of the area where the four enclosures intersect produced medieval pottery and evidence indicating that they were not contemporary.MAP EXTRACT 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 40 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 surviving incompletely the four Highworth circles 150m north east of Pickett's Copse are known from excavation to 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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