Ancient Monuments

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Group of linear earthworks on Worgret Heath

A Scheduled Monument in Arne,

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Latitude: 50.6847 / 50°41'4"N

Longitude: -2.1414 / 2°8'29"W

OS Eastings: 390103.358

OS Northings: 87235.1319

OS Grid: SY901872

Mapcode National: GBR 21F.ZB7

Mapcode Global: FRA 67D8.HJS

Entry Name: Group of linear earthworks on Worgret Heath

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 16 April 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018187

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29076

Civil Parish: Arne

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Wareham Lady St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument, which falls into four areas, includes a group of linear
earthworks situated on Worgret Heath, at the eastern end of a ridge separating
the Frome and Piddle Valleys. The earthworks are in proximity to a dispersed
round barrow cemetery and another linear earthwork to the north east, all of
which are the subject of separate schedulings.
The linear earthworks on Worgret Heath fall into two alignments which appear
to have met at a point central to the monument. These features were surveyed
by the Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England in 1970. The
northern example extends for 400m and is aligned NNE by SSW. To the south, a
similar earthwork aligned ENE by WSW, extends (discontinuously) for 900m. Each
includes a pair of banks, 7m to 12m in width and between about 0.2m to 0.4m
high. These are known to have originally flanked a pair of ditches 4m-5m wide,
although the ditches are generally visible now as a single depression between
the banks.
The southern earthwork has been disturbed by sand and gravel extraction and
truncated by road construction. This earthwork, therefore, now includes three
sections which vary from 100m to 300m in length. Investigations at the western
end between 1989-90, identified the presence of the two buried ditches and
traces of a central bank which were not previously visible.
Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts, gate posts and gates
relating to the modern field boundaries, although the ground beneath is

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

The group of linear earthworks on Worgret Heath extend (discontinuously) over
a distance of about 1km and may have originally been more extensive. The
earthworks are broadly aligned diagonally across the eastern end of the ridge
dividing the rivers Frome and Piddle and may have originally extended from one
floodplain to another. The earthworks also pass around a round barrow cemetery
which is likely to be earlier in origin.
Although not firmly dated, the earthworks are likely to be of Late Prehistoric
or Romano-British date. They are generally regarded as a series of trackways
which are likely to have related to stock control rather than delineation or
defence. As a well preserved monument representing Romano-British or earlier
land-use, the linear earthworks on Worgret Heath represent a comparatively
unusual survival and all surviving sections are considered to be of national
importance. The monument is known from partial excavation to contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the
landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 516-7
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 516-7
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 516-7
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 516-7
Description of E-W gullies,
Description of NW ditch,
Description of SE ditch,
Different date of E-W gullies,
Part Excavations,

Source: Historic England

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