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Romano-British enclosure and later hollow ways on Twyford Down

A Scheduled Monument in Twyford, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.0387 / 51°2'19"N

Longitude: -1.3007 / 1°18'2"W

OS Eastings: 449128.429293

OS Northings: 126827.449248

OS Grid: SU491268

Mapcode National: GBR 868.V96

Mapcode Global: FRA 865C.M3S

Entry Name: Romano-British enclosure and later hollow ways on Twyford Down

Scheduled Date: 25 March 1949

Last Amended: 18 March 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017902

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31163

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Twyford

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Twyford St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Winchester


The monument includes an earthwork enclosure, interpreted as containing a late
Romano-British farmstead or villa, some associated lynchets and hollow ways,
and a prolific series of later, sub-parallel hollow ways, probably of medieval
or post-medieval date. They are situated on the Hockley Golf Course on a broad
spur which projects to the south west from Twyford Down.
The enclosure is situated on the west side of the monument and comprises a
series of parallel banks and ditches partially enclosing a roughly triangular
area of about 1.4ha. The earthworks are constructed in short, straight
sections, joined at sharp angles at the corners. There is an original
entrance on the north east side comprising a 14m gap, either side of which the
banks are staggered by about 3m. A 1m high lynchet passes through the entrance
on the north side and extends across the interior of the enclosure, dividing
it into two broad terraces. Otherwise, the interior is level except where it
has been substantially modified by the construction of two golf greens.
On the west and south east sides, where the interior stands approximately 1m
above the flanks of the spur, the earthworks survive as two low banks or
steepened scarps separated by a shallow ditch or berm. The outer bank stands
up to 0.4m above the exterior surface; the inner bank stands up to 1.2m above
the ditch and 0.3m above the interior. On the north east side, across the spur
crest, they survive as two low banks, about 0.3m high, separated by a ditch,
approximately 0.4m deep, and flanked by a second outer ditch, also about 0.4m
deep. A short section of a third bank and ditch extends inside these for 20m
from the north west corner, and a hollow way curves around the outer ditch and
extends beyond the area of protection to the west. There is a gap in the
earthworks of about 100m on the south side, now partially disturbed by a golf
green, although traces of the outer bank are discernible extending from the
south east corner of the enclosure. Traces of shallow hollow ways or ditches
extend across the spur further to the south.
On the east side the enclosure is associated with two contemporary lynchets,
one of which extends from the north east corner for approximately 230m along
the flank of the spur. It is topped by a low bank, about 0.3m high and is
flanked to the north along its full length by the second, parallel lynchet
which forms a 20m wide terrace that partially extends around the enclosure to
the west and south. Further discontinuous lynchets or low banks extending
along the south east flank of the spur may or may not be associated with the
Roman pottery and roofing tiles recovered from within and immediately to the
south of the enclosure in 1949 and 1954 and in 1991 have been dated
exclusively to the 3rd or 4th century AD and indicate the presence of at least
one substantial structure. The discovery of a piece of plain tesselated
pavement in 1958 further indicates the use of the enclosure as a relatively
high status farmstead or villa.
The later use of the monument as a medieval or post-medieval cart route is
indicated by a prolific series of at least 20 sub-parallel hollow ways which
cross the monument to the north east, cutting some of the earlier lynchets
and a deep section of earlier hollow way. They are most substantial, up to
1.5m deep, where they converge on the eastern flank of the spur and become
shallower as they cross the spur and continue in the direction of a further
series of hollow ways known as the Dongas situated 500m to the north west.
All posts, signs, seats, shelters and golf course furniture are excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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

Much of the archaeological landscape of Twyford Down and the surrounding area
is preserved as earthworks or crop-marks and represents a relatively complete
and extensive survival of chalk downland archaeological remains. Collectively,
the sites indicate the importance of the area for settlement and agriculture
since the Bronze Age and demonstrate the later importance of Twyford Down as a
communications conduit for Winchester during the Roman and medieval periods.
Individual sites in the area are seen as being additionally important because
the evidence of their direct association with each other survives so well.
Evidence for settlement and land use in the Romano-British period is provided
by an enclosure. Such enclosures are usually associated with farmsteads
comprising groups of circular or rectangular houses along with structures
which may include wells, storage pits, corn-drying ovens and granary stores.
They usually survive as low earthworks or buried features visible as crop and
soil marks. Associated field systems, trackways and cemeteries may be located
nearby. Often situated on marginal agricultural land and found throughout the
British Isles, they date to the period of Roman occupation (c.AD 43-450).
The Romano-British enclosure, in addition to the lynchets and hollow ways on
Twyford Down survives well despite some disturbance by later landscaping.
Partial excavation has shown that they retain archaeological remains and
environmental evidence relating to their original construction and subsequent
use and that the significant remains of at least one substantial, late Roman
building survive in the area. The use of the spur as a cart route identifies
its importance as a conduit for transportation and communication during the
medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Winchester Museums Service, , Hockley Golf Club, Twyford, Winchester, Arch. Observations
Winchester Museums Service, , Hockley Golf Club, Twyford, Winchester, Arch. Observations
Stuart, J D, Birkbeck, J M, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in A Celtic Village on Twyford Down, excavated 1933-34, (1936), 188 190
Stuart, J D, Birkbeck, J M, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in A Celtic Village on Twyford Down, excavated 1933-34, (1936), 190

Source: Historic England

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