Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Four Highworth circles east of North Leaze Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Highworth, Swindon

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Latitude: 51.6571 / 51°39'25"N

Longitude: -1.7235 / 1°43'24"W

OS Eastings: 419226.284787

OS Northings: 195405.058838

OS Grid: SU192954

Mapcode National: GBR 4TC.32J

Mapcode Global: VHC0J.2MQ0

Entry Name: Four Highworth circles east of North Leaze Farm

Scheduled Date: 8 September 1949

Last Amended: 29 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016388

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28974

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 east of North Leaze Farm. The site lies on a clay plain below Little
Crouch Hill to the south west. Three of the enclosures are aligned broadly
north east to south west and are conjoining. A fourth enclosure is located to
the north west. All four enclosures are approximately circular and survive
partly as low earthworks which include a ditch surrounded by an outer bank.
The diameter of the four enclosures can be calculated from surviving
earthworks and from aerial photographic evidence as varying in overall
diameter between 96m and 68m.
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 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.
The four Highworth circles east of North Leaze Farm survive comparatively
well 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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