Ancient Monuments

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Small enclosed Iron Age or Romano-British settlement and adjacent cultivation remains, 450m north west of Cwm Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Mainstone, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.4687 / 52°28'7"N

Longitude: -3.0963 / 3°5'46"W

OS Eastings: 325624.123924

OS Northings: 286206.141662

OS Grid: SO256862

Mapcode National: GBR B2.KGD0

Mapcode Global: VH762.86ZT

Entry Name: Small enclosed Iron Age or Romano-British settlement and adjacent cultivation remains, 450m north west of Cwm Farm

Scheduled Date: 22 June 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021279

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34947

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Mainstone

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Mainstone

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a small enclosed
Iron Age or Romano-British settlement and adjacent cultivation remains.
The enclosed settlement is situated on a gentle south east facing slope,
which forms a shelf on the northern side of a narrow, steep-sided valley.
This shelf is defined on its north eastern side by a short gully. From the
enclosed settlement there is a commanding view over the valley to the
south and south east. About 2km to the south west is another small
enclosed Iron Age or Romano-British settlement known as Caer-Din Ring,
which is the subject of a separate scheduling.

This small settlement is rectangular in plan. Its overall dimensions are
approximately 65m north west-south east by 60m south west-north east, and
its internal area about 0.15ha. The north eastern side of the settlement is
defined by a bank, which was created by artifically steepening the natural
slope forming the south west side of the gully. Along the north western and
south western sides, the settlement is defined by two banks separated by a
ditch. These earthworks are much more pronounced on the north western side,
where the outer edge of the ditch is marked by a steep scarp about 2m deep,
and the interior of the inner bank stands up to 2.1m high. For much of its
length the outer bank on the north west side is visible as a slight rise. At
the western corner the outer bank was built to a greater height in order to
compensate for the differences in the level of the sloping ground. The bank
here stands to a height of 1.4m. The enclosing earthworks on the south
western and south eastern sides have been modified to some extent by the
later cultivation of the area, which has reduced the height of the banks
and has resulted in the infilling of the ditch. Despite its infilling, the
ditch around these sides survives well as a buried feature. Although no longer
visible at ground level, evidence from aerial photographs indicates that the
original entrance into the interior was at the mid-point on the south
eastern side. Within the interior there are a series of level areas, which
provided platforms for the construction of buildings.

Immediately to the north of the enclosure are remains of ridge and furrow
cultivation, orientated east-west. The straight and narrow form of this
cultivation system indicates that it is likely to be post-medieval in date. A
50m length of these remains is included in the scheduling in order to preserve
their relationship with the enclosed settlement.

All fence posts 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

During the Iron Age and Roman period a variety of settlement types were
constructed throughout Britain. Small enclosed settlements consist of discrete
areas of occupation, bounded largely or wholly by continuous single or
concentric ditches, banks or walls, and palisades. The size of these
curvilinear or rectilinear enclosures is generally less than 2ha. They were
occupied by a small community, perhaps a single family or several related
family groups. In their original form the enclosures contained a single main
domestic building, or several clusters of domestic buildings. These structures
are normally circular and are often associated with rectangular buildings used
for the storage of agricultural produce. Small enclosed settlements became
common features in the landscape during the second half of the first
millennium BC and throughout the Roman period. They were the dwelling places
of people engaged in small-scale farming and craft production. Considerable
numbers of small enclosed settlements are known, but most have been levelled
by ploughing. All small enclosed settlements where earthwork or standing
structural remains survive are considered to be of national importance.

Although it has been partially modified by later agricultural activity, the
small enclosed Iron Age or Romano-British settlement 450m north west of Cwm
Farm is a good example of this class of monument. In common with other
broadly contemporary settlements in this area, it is considered to contain
significant buried deposits, structural features, artefactual and organic
remains, which have the potential to illustrate many aspects of life during
the Iron Age and Roman period. The earthworks forming the enclosure will
retain evidence about the nature of their construction. In addition, organic
remains surviving in the buried ground surfaces beneath the banks and within
the ditch will provide important information about the local environment and
the use of the surrounding land before the settlement was built and during
its occupation.

The preservation of cultivation remains next to the enclosed settlement
indicates the changing nature of agricultural practice here from arable to
pastoral farming, and contributes to our understanding of the agrarian history
of this region.

Source: Historic England

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