Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Earthwork enclosure 850m north of Mere Down Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Mere, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1188 / 51°7'7"N

Longitude: -2.2385 / 2°14'18"W

OS Eastings: 383402.121473

OS Northings: 135532.636855

OS Grid: ST834355

Mapcode National: GBR 1W2.YNP

Mapcode Global: VH981.44YM

Entry Name: Earthwork enclosure 850m north of Mere Down Farm

Scheduled Date: 23 June 1956

Last Amended: 24 September 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016911

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31682

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Mere

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: The Deverills and Horningsham

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a prehistoric earthwork enclosure situated 850m north of
Mere Down Farm the north facing slope of Middle Hill, a ridge of Upper Chalk
to the south of Kingston Deverill.
The enclosure is rectangular, 150m long and 75m wide, with its long axis
orientated roughly east-west. It consists of an inner bank up to 6m wide and
1.2m high surrounded by a ditch 0.5m deep and up to 4m wide. To the north east
this is flanked by an outer bank 3m wide and 1.2m high. There is an entrance
to the south east comprising a causeway across the ditch 3m wide.
The bank and ditch to the west, the ditch to the south and the bank to the
western end of the south side have been reduced by ploughing and are visible
as soilmarks. The centre of the enclosure has also been ploughed.
Aerial photographs of the enclosure show that it aligns with a surrounding
late prehistoric field system and may represent an adaption of one of the
fields. The field system, which has been reduced by cultivation, is not
included in the scheduling.

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

Earthern enclosures provide evidence of land use and agricultural practices in
the prehistoric and Romano-British period, although later examples are also
known. They were constructed as stock pens or as protected areas for crop
growing and were sometimes subdivided to provide temporary accommodation for
stock, farmers or herdsmen. The size and form of enclosures may vary
considerably depending on their particular function.
Although it has been partially reduced by ploughing, the prehistoric earthwork
enclosure to the north of Mere Down Farm is a good example of this type of
monument. The association of the enclosure with the surrounding field system
provides an important insight into late prehistoric farming practice in this

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 266

Source: Historic England

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