Linear Boundary on Bidcombe Down and Whitepits Down
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County Council (Unitary)
South West Wiltshire
SJ831831 (383071, 138371)
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Bronze Age or Iron Age linear earthwork surviving as a double ditch feature on the lower southwest facing slopes of Whitecliff Down and Cold Kitchen Hill. It extends, discontinuously, over 3,200 metres and is extant either as a single or double feature for 2,250 metres. The feature varies considerably; from a bank, 5metres wide and 0.9 metres high with uphill ditch, 4 metres wide and 0.7 metres deep, on the gentlest slopes to a 3 metre wide terrace, cut 1.5metre deep into the slope, on the steepest slope. The overall width of the individual features varies from 3 metres to 17 metres and, where double, their separation from 2 metres to 118 metres. At it's west end it descends steeply around a spur to disappear in a complex of holloways. A 0.7m deep scoop, 5m in diameter and possibly a hut platform. In the east the feature gradually descends towards the valley floor and may have continued further as a track exists on its projected alignment. The lower feature is broken by the cross ridge dyke (see ST 83 NE 24), and although the exact chronological relationship is unclear, the termination of the lower feature short of the cross-ridge dyke, suggests contemporary usage. A small sherd of Iron Age pottery was found in the topsoil of the ditch. It is possibly associated with further cross ridge dykes (see ST 83 NW 43, 65, 105, ST 83 NE 20 and 21) which define Cold Kitchen Hill. A short length of ditch forms part of a Medieval hollow/terrace way which ascends the coombe above Hiscombe Wood, and cuts the ditch. The upstanding parts of the linear earthwork are scheduled.
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