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Linear earthwork on Wareham Common, 350m north west and 420m north east of Little Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Arne, Dorset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6863 / 50°41'10"N

Longitude: -2.132 / 2°7'55"W

OS Eastings: 390772.007453

OS Northings: 87410.40417

OS Grid: SY907874

Mapcode National: GBR 21G.V4H

Mapcode Global: FRA 67F8.78D

Entry Name: Linear earthwork on Wareham Common, 350m north west and 420m north east of Little Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 16 April 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018194

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29085

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Arne

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Wareham Lady St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument, which falls into two areas, includes a linear earthwork
aligned east west, situated on Wareham Common at the eastern end of a ridge
separating the Frome and Piddle Valleys. The earthwork occurs to the north
east of two similar linear features and a dispersed round barrow cemetery, all
of which are the subject of separate schedulings.
The earthwork runs for a total distance of about 825m, although a 50m length
has been removed by the construction of a railway embankment 100m from the
eastern end. The earthwork consists of a pair of banks composed of earth,
gravel and sand, with maximum dimensions of between 5m to 8m in width and
about 0.45m to about 0.65m in height. The banks flank a depression 4.5m wide
and about 0.5m deep.
To the west of the railway embankment, the earthwork has been reduced in
height for a length of about 90m. This relates to the construction of rifle
butts during 1914-18 and, later, to agricultural activity during the mid-
1950s. In 1956, the earthwork was investigated during the construction of a
water pipe trench. The ditch was found to survive and to be of a `U'-shaped or
flat-bottomed form, with dimensions of 2.7m in width and about 1.2m in depth.

MAP EXTRACT
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 linear earthwork on Wareham Common, 330m north west of Little Farm forms
part of a group of similar features which extend across the ridge separating
the Frome and Piddle Valleys. The earthwork on Wareham Common is distinct in
that it is aligned along a terrace of the River Piddle and situated at the
foot of a ridge. 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 to delineation or defence.
Despite some reduction of the earthwork near to the eastern end and truncation
by a railway embankment, the linear earthwork on Wareham Common generally
survives well and 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

Sources

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
Other
Mention profile of ditch,
Possible extension of earthwork, RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset, As above, (1970)

Source: Historic England

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