Probable Medieval Linear Earthwork at Great Wolford

Description of this historic site

A linear feature is visible as an earthwork at Great Wolford. It probably dates to the Medieval period.

Notes about this historic site

1 The village, well-placed on a triangle of land above the junction of two little streams, was formerly defended by entrenchments running all round it; these probably enclosed an area of about 9.1 ha. In the memory of people still living the ramparts virtually encircled the village, but they have now been practically levelled, except upon one side, to the E and SE. Here too they have been considerably mutilated in places. The extant defences show formidable double ramparts with intervening fosse, placed on top of a steep decline; they are perhaps best preserved in the SE corner, where water still lies in a ditch which is 4.6m wide. The vallum at this point is 7.6m high and the inner bank 6.5m high, the enclosed village being on a level with the top. There are no records of antiquities.
2 1956: The main feature is a large ditch, now 6-7.6m at the bottom; this was designed to be fed by a spring, and is still wet. Most of the upcast is on the outer side, making a bank 2.4m high above the ditch; the ‘inner’ bank is very slight. The field to the E has been ploughed with ridge and furrow. 1968: Possibly erected as a wolf defence.
3 Many Medieval villages had their crofts enveloped by a single boundary bank, probably the base for a fence, separating them from the open fields, the full circuit of banks embracing all the village. This feature can still be seen at Great Wolford.
4 A semi-circular double bank and ditch, surrounding a sector of the village and the church.
5 SAM List.
6 Air photograph.
8 Earthworks visible on aerial photographs were mapped as part of the English Heritage National Mapping Project.

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