Ancient Monuments

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Medieval strip lynchets 370m south of Greater Lane Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Edington, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.2722 / 51°16'20"N

Longitude: -2.1081 / 2°6'28"W

OS Eastings: 392557.658924

OS Northings: 152571.239759

OS Grid: ST925525

Mapcode National: GBR 2VV.1W9

Mapcode Global: VH97B.D9X1

Entry Name: Medieval strip lynchets 370m south of Greater Lane Farm

Scheduled Date: 11 February 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017302

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33521

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Edington

Built-Up Area: Edington

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Edington and Imber

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes the unploughed portion of a flight of medieval strip
lynchets situated on the crest of the north west facing scarp of Picquet Hill.
The hill is a promontory of Upper Chalk on the northern edge of Salisbury
Plain above the village of Edington which commands impressive views across the
clay vale of West Wiltshire.
The five lynchets within this scheduling are orientated from south west to
north east running for a total length of 400m. The risers or scarps are up to
5.8m high while the treads are between 4m and 11m wide. The upper lynchet is
the shortest, being extant for a length of 75m before crossing a fenceline
beyond which it has been ploughed. Here it is visible only as a soilmark and
is not included in the scheduling. The lynchets follow the contours of the
slope apart from the lower two which curve down the slope to the south west.
This is interpreted as a means of accessing the fields.
This set of lynchets is one of a series along this section of the scarp, some
of which are the subject of separate schedulings. These lynchets are shown as
individual plots on an 1841 tythe map of Edington.
All fence posts and cattle troughs are excluded from the scheduling, although
the ground beneath them 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,
representing a means to increase the land available for cultivation by the
construction of terraces on steep slopes. The fields thus formed were used as
a part of the strip tenurial system of medieval land division. 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 600m in length,
and whilst many systems include only two or three lynchets, some have five,
six or more.
The strip lynchets 370m south east of Greater Lane Farm are a particularly
well preserved set providing an insight into medieval farming practice in this
area. Due to their prominent position at the top of the scarp they are a
significant landmark in the local landscape.

Source: Historic England

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