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Figheldean Down prehistoric landscape

A Scheduled Monument in Tidworth, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.2393 / 51°14'21"N

Longitude: -1.7226 / 1°43'21"W

OS Eastings: 419458.245327

OS Northings: 148938.763436

OS Grid: SU194489

Mapcode National: GBR 4ZD.990

Mapcode Global: VHC2N.335S

Entry Name: Figheldean Down prehistoric landscape

Scheduled Date: 12 March 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017939

English Heritage Legacy ID: 10140

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Tidworth

Built-Up Area: Tidworth

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Figheldean St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


A prehistoric landscape of related field systems, linear earthworks,
enclosures and barrows on Figheldean Down. The area is part of an extensive
landscape that survives well despite being situated on gentle slopes suitable
for cultivation. The monument includes:-
1 - An extensive field system on Figheldean Down, of Iron age/Romano-British
origin. Part of the system has been destroyed, but other areas remain extant
and in good condition. Late Bronze Age, Iron Age and Romano-British pottery
has been found.
2 - A boundary feature seen as a ditch without banks c.2m wide and 0.5m deep.
3 - A flat topped bowl barrow c.30m in diameter. (SU18914930)
4 - A flat topped, ditched bowl barrow c.50m overall diameter. The ditch
connects with the bank of an adjoining field system. There is some damage due
to ploughing and military activity. (SU20704875)
5 - A small, badly damaged, ditched bowl barrow c.21m overall diameter. This
barrow is now badly damaged by the military (SU20734873)
6 - Part of a boundary earthwork now extant north west of Ablington Furze
although originally longer.
7 - A ditch 4m wide, running north-east/south-west across the field systems on
Figheldean Down.
8 - A low saucer or pond barrow c.30m diameter. It has been damaged by cattle
and vehicle tracks.
9 - An enclosure on a west facing slope with an entrance in the west. It has a
diameter of 24m and appears to be overlying a field system. (SU19354856)
10 - An extensive field system covering most of the eastern side of Figheldean
Down. The lynchets are low, probably due to past ploughing but still well
preserved. The area is now in permanent grassland.
11 - A boundary ditch c.6m wide, forming the south, east and west sides of a
large land division. It is probably of Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age date.
There is some vehicle damage. (SU18024971)
12 - A roughly square earthwork enclosure with sides c.50m and a break or
entrance in the north-west corner. The bank and the external ditch are
indistinct and damaged. The orientation is different to that of the
surrounding fields. (SU18464905)
13 - A section of linear ditch c.5m wide. There is a bank to the east for a
short distance. It probably originally enclosed or delineated part of an Iron
Age/Romano-British field system. (SU18614936)
14 - A long section of ditch, associated with other linear earthworks in the
same area. Probably of Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age date, it is associated
with field systems.
15 - A field system to the north-west of Figheldean Down, associated with and
enclosed by linear features. The fields are square and cohesive and although
ploughed in the past, lynchets survive up to 1m high.
16 - A boundary ditch c.5m wide, connected to the south side of a series of
ditches forming a large land division. There is vehicle, cattle and plough
damage and only the central portion is in good condition.
17 - An extensive field system of Figheldean Down, of Iron age/Romano-British
origin. Part of the system has been destroyed, but other areas remain extant
and in good condition. Late Bronze Age, Iron Age and Romano-British pottery
has been found.
18 - A boundary feature seen as a ditch without banks c.2m wide and 0.5m deep.
19 - A bowl barrow c.16m overall diameter with traces of a ditch (SU18844910).

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The most complete and extensive survival of chalk downland archaeological
remains in central southern England occurs on Salisbury Plain, particularly in
those areas lying within the Salisbury Plain Training Area. These remains
represent one of the few extant archaeological "landscapes" in Britain and are
considered to be of special significance because they differ in character from
those in other areas with comparable levels of preservation. Individual sites
on Salisbury Plain are seen as being additionally important because the
evidence of their direct association with each other survives so well.
Coherent and extensive complexes of prehistoric/Romano-British land boundaries
are rare nationally. The field systems, enclosures and boundaries of
Figheldean Down are considered to comprise one of the most important and best
preserved fossil prehistoric/Romano-British landscapes in southern Britain and
as such the Figheldean monument provides important evidence for the character
and development of downland agricultural practise. In addition, the monument
also includes several prehistoric funerary monuments considered to be of
national importance in their own right.

Source: Historic England


Trust for Wessex Archaeology, (1987)
Wiltshire Library & Museum Service, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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