Ancient Monuments

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Field system on the north west facing slope of Dane's Bottom, 400m north of Dee Barn

A Scheduled Monument in Kingston Deverill, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1236 / 51°7'24"N

Longitude: -2.2286 / 2°13'42"W

OS Eastings: 384096.13935

OS Northings: 136057.085222

OS Grid: ST840360

Mapcode National: GBR 1W3.FCJ

Mapcode Global: VH981.B05Z

Entry Name: Field system on the north west facing slope of Dane's Bottom, 400m north of Dee Barn

Scheduled Date: 24 September 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019039

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31691

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Kingston Deverill

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: The Deverills and Horningsham

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument includes a regular aggregate field system 400m north of Dee Barn
on the north west facing slope of Dane's Bottom, a dry valley cut into Upper
and Middle Chalk to the south west of Kingston Deverill.
The field system comprises a series of lynchets, or cultivation terraces, up
to 1m high defining a group of rectangular fields. The system is aligned
diagonally to the valley side, with the most prominent lynchets located toward
the valley bottom. The internal divisions of the system survive as low
earthworks, visible under low angled sunlight.
All fenceposts and cattle troughs are excluded from the scheduling, although
the ground beneath them is included.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Regular aggregate field systems date from the Bronze Age (2000-700 BC) to the
end of the fifth century AD. They usually cover areas of up to 100ha and
comprise a discrete block of fields orientated in roughly the same direction,
with the field boundaries laid out along two axes set at right angles to one
another. Individual fields generally fall within the 0.1ha-3.2ha range and can
be square, rectangular, long and narrow, triangular or polygonal in shape. The
field boundaries can take various forms (including drystone walls or reaves,
orthostats, earth and rubble banks, pit alignments, ditches, fences and
lynchets) and follow straight or sinuous courses. Component features common to
most systems include entrances and trackways, and the settlements or
farmsteads from which people utilised the fields over the years have been
identified in some cases. These are usually situated close to or within the
field system.
The development of field systems is seen as a response to the competition for
land which began during the later prehistoric period. The majority are thought
to have been used mainly for crop production, evidenced by the common
occurrence of lynchets resulting from frequent ploughing, although rotation
may also have been practised in a mixed farming economy. Regular aggregate
field systems occur widely and have been recorded in south western and south
eastern England, East Anglia, Cheshire, Cumbria, Nottinghamshire, North and
South Yorkshire and Durham. They represent a coherent economic unit often
utilised for long periods of time and can thus provide important information
about developments in agricultural practices in a particular location and
broader patterns of social, cultural and environmental change over several
centuries. Those which survive well and/or which can be positively linked to
associated settlements are considered to merit protection.

The field system on the north west facing slope of Danes Bottom, 400m north of
Dee Barn, survives well providing an important insight into late prehistoric
farming practice in this area. The fields and boundaries will contain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England

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