Ancient Monuments

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Enclosure on the summit of Rodmead Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Maiden Bradley with Yarnfield, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1223 / 51°7'20"N

Longitude: -2.2567 / 2°15'23"W

OS Eastings: 382133.1998

OS Northings: 135925.993238

OS Grid: ST821359

Mapcode National: GBR 1W2.D9S

Mapcode Global: VH980.T1VY

Entry Name: Enclosure on the summit of Rodmead Hill

Scheduled Date: 19 September 1955

Last Amended: 23 February 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017704

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26832

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Maiden Bradley with Yarnfield

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Maiden Bradley All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument includes an earthwork enclosure lying on the summit of Rodmead
Hill.
The enclosure is sub-rectangular in shape, has an entrance on its north
eastern side and encloses an area of 0.5ha. The interior is enclosed by an
earthwork which includes a bank, an outer ditch and, in places, traces of a
counterscarp bank. A short length of internal ditch and bank which runs in
from the south western side appears to be of a later date.
The enclosure was described by Sir Richard Colt-Hoare in 1807 when digging
revealed `a great deal of very black earth, and fragments of rude British
pottery'. This suggests that the enclosure may have a settlement function and
date to the later prehistoric period (later Bronze Age or Iron Age).
A length of curvilinear earthwork, described as an outer work, has previously
been recorded running parallel to and at a distance of approximately 20m from
the north eastern side of the enclosure. This has been levelled by cultivation
and, as its direct association with the enclosure cannot be verified, has not
been included within the scheduling.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath
these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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

Small enclosed settlements dating from the Middle Bronze Age are often
associated with earlier field systems and are known on some sites to have
replaced earlier unenclosed settlements. Enclosures of both sub-rectangular
and curvilinear plan are known; the sites are wholly or partly surrounded by a
ditch, bank or palisade, or by a combination or succession of all three. Where
excavated, sites have usually been found to contain a small group of domestic
buildings sufficient for a single or extended family group, although a few
larger enclosures are known. Evidence of a succession of buildings has been
found on some sites. The buildings are usually circular in plan but occasional
rectangular structures are known. Both types of building would have provided a
combination of living accommodation and storage or working areas. Storage pits
have been recorded inside buildings on some sites but are generally rarely
present. In addition to pottery and worked flint, large quantities of burnt
stone and metal working debris have been found in some enclosures.
Although the precise figure is not known, many small enclosed settlements are
located on the chalk downland of southern England. As a class they are
integral to understanding Bronze Age settlement and land use strategies, while
their often close proximity to the numerous burial monuments in the area will
provide insights into the relationship between secular and ceremonial activity
during the Middle Bronze Age.
A small number of small enclosed settlements survive on downland as visible
earthworks; the majority, however, occur in areas of more intensive
cultivation and survive in buried form, visible only from the air as soil
marks and crop marks. All examples with visible earthworks, and those in
buried form which retain significant surviving remains, are considered to be
of national importance.

The enclosure on the summit of Rodmead Hill is a comparatively well preserved
example of its class and will contain archaeological deposits providing
information about later prehistoric social organisation, economy, trade and
environment.

Source: Historic England

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