Ancient Monuments

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Enclosure in Brookes Coppice, 600m north west of Five Elms

A Scheduled Monument in Berwick St. John, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 50.9589 / 50°57'32"N

Longitude: -2.0582 / 2°3'29"W

OS Eastings: 396008.548674

OS Northings: 117725.81378

OS Grid: ST960177

Mapcode National: GBR 2ZL.VW8

Mapcode Global: FRA 66LK.S0V

Entry Name: Enclosure in Brookes Coppice, 600m north west of Five Elms

Scheduled Date: 24 July 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020630

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35231

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Berwick St. John

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Sixpenny Handley with Gussage St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a later prehistoric and Romano-British enclosure
situated on the upper part of a gentle south west facing slope within the
area of Cranborne Chase. The enclosure lies on the western side of an area
of field system which has been levelled by ploughing and is not included
within the scheduling.
The enclosure was mentioned by General Pitt Rivers in 1887 and surveyed by
the Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England in 1975. It is
defined by a ditch with maximum dimensions of 5m in width and about 0.5m
in depth, enclosing an area of 0.4ha, oval in plan, with a slightly dished
interior. The enclosure is served by a single entrance, about 5m wide,
situated on the eastern side. This area of the enclosure has been reduced
by ploughing, although the remainder survives as an earthwork.
All fence posts and gates which relate to the modern field boundaries are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

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

Cranborne Chase is an area of chalkland well known for its high number,
density and diversity of archaeological remains. These include a rare
combination of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites, comprising one of the
largest concentrations of burial monuments in England, the largest known
cursus (a linear ritual monument) and a significant number and range of henge
monuments (Late Neolithic ceremonial centres). Other important remains include
a variety of enclosures, settlements, field systems and linear boundaries
which date throughout prehistory and into the Romano-British and medieval
periods. This high level of survival of archaeological remains is due largely
to the later history of the Chase. Cranborne Chase formed a Royal Hunting
Ground from at least Norman times, and much of the archaeological survival
within the area resulted from associated laws controlling land-use which
applied until 1830. The unique archaeological character of the Chase has
attracted much attention over the years, notably during the later 19th
century, by the pioneering work on the Chase of General Pitt-Rivers, Sir
Richard Colt Hoare and Edward Cunnington, often regarded as the fathers of
British archaeology. Archaeological investigations have continued throughout
the 20th century and to the present day.

Later Iron Age and Romano-British occupation occurred widely across
Cranborne Chase and included a range of settlement types. The surviving
remains comprise farmsteads, hamlets, villages and hillforts, which
together demonstrate an important sequence of settlement. The
non-defensive enclosed farm or homestead represents the smallest and most
simple of these types. There are over 50 recorded examples within the area
which are thought to date to this period. Most early examples are
characterised by a curvilinear enclosure with round buildings, although
these are sometimes superseded by rectilinear or triangular shaped
enclosures with rectilinear buildings. On Cranborne Chase, many examples
were occupied over an extended period and some grew in size and
Despite some reduction by ploughing (along the eastern side), the
enclosure in Brookes Coppice, 600m north west of Five Elms survives
comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental
evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was
constructed. The site is notable as one of a small number of similar
simple enclosures to survive on Cranborne Chase. It also forms part of a
wider group of archaeological remains and represents one of few
archaeological sites within the group not to have been excavated. It will,
therefore, offer potential for the preservation of undisturbed buried
deposits and will contribute information concerning the economy and social
activities within the area during the period of occupation.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
An Inventory of the Historical monuments of Dorset: Volume V, (1975), 70
Fox Pitt Rivers, A H L, Excavations in Cranborne Chase, (1887), 5

Source: Historic England

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