Ancient Monuments

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Medieval strip lynchets 280m west of Hill Barn

A Scheduled Monument in Kingston Deverill, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1285 / 51°7'42"N

Longitude: -2.2042 / 2°12'15"W

OS Eastings: 385806.429591

OS Northings: 136596.117813

OS Grid: ST858365

Mapcode National: GBR 1W4.1KG

Mapcode Global: VH97V.RW2S

Entry Name: Medieval strip lynchets 280m west of Hill Barn

Scheduled Date: 24 September 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016902

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31681

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Kingston Deverill

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: The Deverills and Horningsham

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes the best preserved portion of a flight of eight
lynchets, or cultivation terraces, situated on the steep eastern side of a
small dry valley cut into Middle Chalk to the south of Monkton Deverill.
The lynchets comprise two elements: the steep risers which are up to 7.5m high
and the flat treads up to 30m wide. The main group runs approximately
north-south along the east side of the valley for 980m although the uppermost
lynchet follows the scarp to the north east around the bluff of the valley for
a further 140m within a plantation. Along this stretch another lynchet runs
parallel to it lower down the slope. The upper two lynchets within the valley
end at a fenceline above another plantation beyond which they have been
reduced by ploughing and are visible only as soilmarks
Four lynchets below this run partly or entirely within the second plantation.
The lowest lynchet is situated on the gently sloping valley bottom separated
from the rest by a tread 30m wide which is surmounted by a track. The lynchets
are depicted as individual plots of land on a 1749 map of the estate of the
Viscount of Weymouth.
Only the best preserved sections of the lynchets are included in the area of
scheduling, the areas within the plantations where the remains are less well
defined are not included.
All fenceposts and cattle troughs are excluded from scheduling, although the
ground beneath these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Strip lynchets provide distinctive indications of medieval cultivation. They
occur widely in southern and south eastern England, and are prominent features
on the Wessex chalkland. Each lynchet or terrace has two components,
consisting of a scarp or `riser' and flat strip or `tread'. They can be up to
200m in length, and whilst many systems include only two or three lynchets,
some have five, six or more - as in this case.
The strip lynchets 280m west of Hill Barn are in excellent condition and
provide an important insight into medieval farming practices in this area.
They are well documented, appearing on a mid-18th century map, 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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