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Group of medieval strip lynchets at East and West Man

A Scheduled Monument in Worth Matravers, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.5893 / 50°35'21"N

Longitude: -2.0347 / 2°2'4"W

OS Eastings: 397639.043367

OS Northings: 76613.651885

OS Grid: SY976766

Mapcode National: GBR 342.VTL

Mapcode Global: FRA 67MH.WPJ

Entry Name: Group of medieval strip lynchets at East and West Man

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 7 March 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019951

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33194

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Worth Matravers

Built-Up Area: Worth Matravers

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Worth Matravers St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument, which falls into four separate areas of protection, includes
four groups of medieval strip lynchets situated on the slopes of spurs known
as East and West Man situated on either side of Winspit Bottom, with coastal
views to the south.
The strip lynchets, which now survive over an area of about 40ha, include a
series of cultivation terraces which were produced by medieval ploughing. The
lynchets developed as a result of the plough cutting into the upper edge of
the slope and the resulting material being deposited along the downslope edge
of the terrace. The surviving earthworks include two main components: scarps
or `risers' and terraces or `treads'. The strip lynchets generally follow
the contours of the slope and the longer examples may have been subdivided
when in use. The lynchets vary from between 70m to 360m in length, 3m to
28m in width and about 2m to 4.5m in height. The lynchets accord with the
pattern of fields shown on a Tithe Map of 1840, which also records that
East and West Man were still arable areas at that time. The lynchets
originally formed part of a more extensive medieval field system which
extended over an area of about 80ha. The surviving earthworks lie on the
slopes of the spurs; the lower lying ground has since been subjected to
ploughing which has reduced the earthworks within these areas.
All gate and fence posts relating to the modern field boundaries are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Strip lynchets provide distinctive indications of medieval cultivation. They
occur widely in southern and south eastern England, and represent prominent
features on the Wessex chalkland. Strip lynchets, which are characterised by
the presence of terraces known as `treads'and scarps known as `risers',
can vary in length, with some examples exceeding 200m. Many systems include
groups of three lynchets, while others are known to contain six or more.
The group of medieval strip lynchets at East and West Man are very well-
preserved examples of their class. They form one of the largest surviving
groups of such features within Dorset and represent a significant proportion
of the open field system which was associated with the medieval manor at
Worth Matravers. The lynchets will provide an important insight into medieval
farming practices within the area. They are well documented and will
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), 415
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 415

Source: Historic England

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