Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Ring ditch on Blackheath Down 650m south west of North Allenford Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Martin, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.9587 / 50°57'31"N

Longitude: -1.8886 / 1°53'18"W

OS Eastings: 407918.927

OS Northings: 117703.912031

OS Grid: SU079177

Mapcode National: GBR 414.WWB

Mapcode Global: FRA 66YK.S27

Entry Name: Ring ditch on Blackheath Down 650m south west of North Allenford Farm

Scheduled Date: 18 March 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017901

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31161

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Martin

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Damerham St George

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a ring ditch, being the levelled remains of a bowl
barrow, located between Soldier's Ring enclosure and Damerham Iron Age/Romano-
British settlement on Blackheath Down, 600m south west of the Allen River. It
lies on gently sloping ground 200m east of the crest of the down, at the
junction of four later Celtic lynchets.
The ring ditch is clearly visible in a 1971 aerial photograph as soil marks
indicating a circular or slightly oval quarry ditch, approximately 5m wide and
25m in diameter, surrounded by an outer bank, about 7m wide. Now in an area of
cultivation and almost levelled by ploughing, traces of the bank and ditch
survive as discontinuous earthwork features up to 0.15m high and 0.1m deep
respectively. The remainder will survive as buried remains.

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

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

The ring ditch representing a levelled bowl barrow on Blackheath Down survives
despite later disturbance and can be expected to retain archaeological remains
and environmental evidence relating to its original construction and
subsequent use. Much of the adjacent archaeological remains on Blackheath Down
and the surrounding area, including Martin Down and Tidpit Common Down, are
preserved as earthworks or crop-marks of numerous classes of monument of
Bronze Age and later date. These were the subject of a detailed survey by the
Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. The close association
of these remains, representing settlement, land-use and burial, will provide a
detailed understanding of the nature and development of the use of this area
in the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Bowen, H C, Eagles, B N (ed), The archaeology of Bokerley Dyke, (1990), 53
Bowen, H C, Air Photography And The Development Of The Landscape , Aerial Reconnaissance for Archaeology, (1975)

Source: Historic England

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