Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Earthwork enclosure in Penning Wood, 290m north east of Penning

A Scheduled Monument in Berwick St. Leonard, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1227 / 51°7'21"N

Longitude: -2.1108 / 2°6'38"W

OS Eastings: 392340.656733

OS Northings: 135936.797642

OS Grid: ST923359

Mapcode National: GBR 2XL.F58

Mapcode Global: VH983.C1GP

Entry Name: Earthwork enclosure in Penning Wood, 290m NE of Penning

Scheduled Date: 23 October 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017714

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26852

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Berwick St. Leonard

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Fonthill Bishop with Berwick St Leonard All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes an earthwork enclosure located on a south facing slope
at Penning Wood. It is one of several enclosures situated within Great Ridge,
an extensive area of woodland which occupies a clay outcrop on the undulating
south Wiltshire chalkland.
The enclosure is approximately diamond shaped, 83m across from east to west
and 71m from north to south and defines an area of 0.4ha. It is formed by a
bank surrounded by a ditch, the dimensions of which vary around the circuit of
the enclosure. On the north western side the bank is 4.5m wide and the ditch
approximately 8m wide and 1.1m below the crest of the bank.
The presence of earthwork remains of level platforms within the enclosure,
which may represent the site of at least three huts or houses, suggest that
the monument was an enclosed settlement, probably prehistoric in date, rather
than a pastoral enclosure as has previously been suggested.

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

Enclosures provide evidence of land use, agricultural practices and habitation
from the prehistoric period onward. They were constructed as stock pens, as
protected areas for crop growing or for settlement and their size and function
may vary considerably depending on their particular function. Their variation
in form, longevity and their relationship to other monument classes, including
field systems and linear boundary earthworks, provide information on the
diversity of social organisation and farming practices throughout the period
of their use.
Enclosures are central to understanding the development of the rural landscape
and as such all well preserved examples are considered worthy of protection.
The earthwork enclosure in Penning Wood survives comparatively well and will
contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the
monument and the landsape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England

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