Ancient Monuments

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Causewayed enclosure and settlement enclosures immediately north west of Shire Gate

A Scheduled Monument in Filkins and Broughton Poggs, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.7405 / 51°44'25"N

Longitude: -1.69 / 1°41'24"W

OS Eastings: 421500.380339

OS Northings: 204693.098046

OS Grid: SP215046

Mapcode National: GBR 4S7.ZGH

Mapcode Global: VHC04.NJF1

Entry Name: Causewayed enclosure and settlement enclosures immediately north west of Shire Gate

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016631

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31433

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Filkins and Broughton Poggs

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Eastleach St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a curvilinear and roughly symmetrical causewayed
enclosure and two associated settlement enclosures, one with a northern annex,
immediately north west of Shire Gate on a slight ESE slope. The monument is
not visible on the ground, having been reduced by ploughing over time, but is
visible as a cropmark caused by different rates of crop growth and ripening
over archaeological features.

The causewayed enclosure comprises four roughly circular ditches, each cut at
regular intervals, measuring between 1m and 8m wide. The outer enclosure is
230m in diameter whilst the innermost ditch encloses an area 125m by 85m in
size. The south west and north east sides of all four enclosure ditches are
concave. This is more pronounced in the two inner enclosures. The four ditches
are located in two pairs, the outer pair being 15m to 20m apart and the inner
pair only 6m to 8m apart.

The monument also includes a later rectangular ditched enclosure immediately
to the west of the causewayed enclosure. This rectangular enclosure is 120m
long and measures between 34m and 50m wide. It contains two hut circles of 14m
and 18m diameter and a shallow depression. A rectilinear annex abuts the
northern side of the rectangular enclosure. It has an entrance on the western
side and internal divisions forming a smaller internal enclosure, also with a
western entrance.

There is a further rectilinear ditched settlement enclosure to the south west
of the causewayed enclosure. This is a rectilinear system of small enclosures
or paddocks with fragments of larger enclosures to the south. Three hut
circles measuring 18m, 14m and 3m in diameter are present within the small

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

Between 50 and 70 causewayed enclosures are recorded nationally, mainly in
southern and eastern England. They were constructed over a period of some 500
years during the middle part of the Neolithic period (c.3000-2400 BC) but also
continued in use into later periods. They vary considerably in size (from 2 to
70 acres) and were apparently used for a variety of functions, including
settlement, defence, and ceremonial and funerary purposes. However, all
comprise a roughly circular to ovoid area bounded by one or more concentric
rings of banks and ditches. The ditches, from which the monument class derives
its name, were formed of a series of elongated pits punctuated by unexcavated
causeways. Causewayed enclosures are amongst the earliest field monuments to
survive as recognisable features in the modern landscape and are one of the
few known Neolithic monument types. Due to their rarity, their wide diversity
of plan, and their considerable age, all causewayed enclosures are considered
to be nationally important.

Iron Age and Romano-British rectilinear settlement enclosures are formed by
groups of farmsteads and houses often individually enclosed, along with
associated structures such as wells, storage pits, corn-drying ovens and
granary stores. The enclosures are surrounded by ditches and are associated
with pits, stock enclosures, ditches and field systems. Most settlements of
this type in the Upper Thames Valley have been located through the analysis of
aerial photographs. They survive in the form of buried features, usually
appearing as crop or soil marks and occasionally as low earthworks. As a
representative form of rural settlement they provide important evidence of
landuse and agricultural practices in the later Iron Age and Romano-British
period and all examples which have significant surviving remains will merit

The rectilinear settlement enclosures abutting the causewayed enclosure at
Shire Gate provide good examples of this type of rural settlement, and
preservation of below ground deposits is likely to be good. The site has a
range of features including enclosures, ditches, hut circles and elements of
the field system which will provide valuable information on the contemporary
economy of the surrounding countryside.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Oxford Archaeological Unit, , 'Oxford Archaeological Unit Newsletter' in Eastleach, , Vol. 9 No 4, (1982), 7
Palmer, R, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Interrupted Ditch Enclosures in Britain, , Vol. 42, (1976), 161-186
Interpreted by Ms V Fenner, RCHME APU, Thames Valley National Mapping Programme, (1993)
Interpreted by Ms V Fenner, RCHME APU, Thames Valley National Mapping Programme, (1995)
Interpreted by Ms V Fenner, RCHME APU, Thames Valley National Mapping Project, (1995)
NMR, MOD, OS, CUCAP, Engineering Surveys, 43 Oblique and 7 vertical air photos 1946-1990,
NMR, NMR Monument Detail, (1993)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 SP 20 SW (NMP overlay)
Source Date: 1993

Source: Historic England

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