Ancient Monuments

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Causewayed enclosure, 900m west of Chimney Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Aston, Cote, Shifford and Chimney, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.7042 / 51°42'15"N

Longitude: -1.497 / 1°29'49"W

OS Eastings: 434854.108854

OS Northings: 200727.390307

OS Grid: SP348007

Mapcode National: GBR 6WR.0CK

Mapcode Global: VHC0G.0FFD

Entry Name: Causewayed enclosure, 900m west of Chimney Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 December 1973

Last Amended: 16 November 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018656

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28185

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Aston, Cote, Shifford and Chimney

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Bampton with Clanfield

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes a causewayed enclosure 900m west of Chimney Farm. The
site lies within the flood plain of the Thames, and despite modern water
management features in the vicinity, the land remains prone to waterlogging,
particularly during early spring.
Although no longer visible at ground level, the ditches of the enclosure are
clearly visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs. These show both crop
height and colour variations indicating infilled features below the modern
plough soil. The enclosure is slightly oval in plan, measuring approximately
150m across and is defined by at least two circuits of interrupted ditches
with possible traces of a third. These ditches are between 6m and 10m wide and
will survive buried below the present ground surface. Originally, the ditches
would have been separated by banks constructed from the upcast spoil excavated
during their construction. These have subsequently been levelled by ploughing
over time, and much of the material is almost certainly now contained in the
fill of the buried ditches. A number of further features visible on aerial
photographs relate to later drainage work and are not included in the

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Between 50 and 70 causewayed enclosures are recorded nationally, mainly in
southern and eastern England. They were constructed over a period of some 500
years during the middle part of the Neolithic period (c.3000-2400 BC) but also
continued in use into later periods. They vary considerably in size (from 2 to
70 acres) and were apparently used for a variety of functions, including
settlement, defence, and ceremonial and funerary purposes. However, all
comprise a roughly circular to ovoid area bounded by one or more concentric
rings of banks and ditches. The ditches, from which the monument class derives
its name, were formed of a series of elongated pits punctuated by unexcavated
causeways. Causewayed enclosures are amongst the earliest field monuments to
survive as recognisable features in the modern landscape and are one of the
few known Neolithic monument types. Due to their rarity, their wide diversity
of plan, and their considerable age, all causewayed enclosures are considered
to be nationally important.

The causewayed enclosure 900m west of Chimney Farm survives well despite
having been levelled by ploughing. The buried remains will include
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction,
function and the landscape in which it was built. The environmental evidence
will be particularly well-preserved due to the high level of waterlogging in
the lower ditch deposits. In addition, the site will provide evidence of the
wider Thames Valley landscape in the prehistoric period and recent aerial
photographic work by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of
England has shown that the site forms part of a wider group of ceremonial,
settlement and related sites of the period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Benson, , Miles, , Upper Thames Gravels Survey, (1974), 39
PRN 5580, C.A.O., Cropmarks - Causewayed Enclosure, (1974)

Source: Historic England

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