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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority. Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both.
The evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been reused later. The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries in the landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those groups who constructed them.
Linear earthworks are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age; all well- preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection. The boundary known as the Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire Grim's Ditch includes numerous surviving sections from within three main linear earthworks aligned along the Chiltern Hills between Bradenham and Berkhamsted and spanning a total distance of 18km.
It does not appear that these principal sections were ever ed to form a continuous boundary. Current evidence suggests that the sometimes quite sizeable gaps represent areas which were formerly forested or in which natural features served to perpetuate a division of the land. The same pattern has been discerned along the North Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch, to the west of the Thames.
A further comparable linear boundary, the Moel Ditch, extends to the east across parts of neighbouring Bedfordshire. For the most part the visible sections of Grim's Ditch in the Chilterns include a wide single ditch flanked by a bank of upcast earth, which is always upslope of the ditch.
Other features, discovered by limited excavations, include a turf core within the bank, a berm separating bank and ditch concealed over time by the spread of the bank material , and a trench for a fence or palisade along the outer rim of the ditch. The Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire Grim's Ditch is thought to have served as a territorial boundary, separating, and perhaps enclosing, organised groups of land and settlement.
It may also have been an agricultural boundary, denoting grazing areas and impeding the movement or theft of stock. Excavations to date have provided only limited dating evidence. Pottery recovered from the fill of the ditch indicates that it was in existence in the Iron Age. As such the boundary provides important evidence for the management of the landscape in the centuries preceding the Roman Conquest, in AD 43, although it may have a considerably earlier origin.
It remained a notable feature in later centuries, acquiring it's present name a variation on the name of the god, Odin at some point in the early medieval period, perhaps during the period of pagan Saxon settlement in the 5th and 6th centuries. All sections of the Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire Grim's Ditch which survive in visible form or as well-preserved buried remains identified by aerial photography or ground survey are considered integral to a general understanding of the monument and will normally merit statutory protection. The m long section of Grim's Ditch m south east of Hampden House survives well as a visible earthwork along most of its length and provides a fascinating insight into the nature of early territorial land division in the Chiltern Hills.
It will contain archaeological evidence for the manner of its construction as well as environmental evidence for the appearance of the landscape in which it was built. The archaeological evidence may also include artefacts or scientific dating material from which to determine the period of its construction and the duration of its maintenance as an active boundary.
The monument includes a length of the prehistoric boundary known as the Buckinghamshire Grim's Ditch located on high ground to the south west of the dry valley between Hampden Bottom and Buckmoorend. Hampden House, a large country mansion which was first built in this prominent location in the 14th century, lies immediately to the north west and is approached by a main driveway which follows the southern edge of the earthwork.
Hampden House is Listed Grade I. The substantial remains of Grim's Ditch start at the boundary of Hampden House's immediate grounds, some m south east of the mansion, and continue alongside the drive for approximately m before terminating at the crossro to the east of Hampden House Lodges. The earthen bank measures up to 7m wide and stands up to 0. To the east of the bank lies a parallel ditch, up to 7m wide and up to 0. Excavations, carried out in and along other sections of Grim's Ditch, produced evidence of a level area, or berm, separating the bank and ditch.
Evidence for a palisade trench, which would have supported a wooden fence, was also found along the outer edge of the ditch. Similar components may survive as buried features along this section of the Grim's Ditch.
These sections and others along the entire known route of the boundary are the subject of separate schedulings. All fences, fenceposts and road surfaces are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure. The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions.
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More in this Section Map Search. Advanced Search. Minor Amendments. Download Listing Data. Non-Listed Sites. About The List. Understanding List Entries. Buckinghamshire Grim's Ditch: m long section m south east of Hampden House. This copy shows the entry on Oct at Location The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority. Reasons for Deation Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between less than 1km to over 10km. Details The monument includes a length of the prehistoric boundary known as the Buckinghamshire Grim's Ditch located on high ground to the south west of the dry valley between Hampden Bottom and Buckmoorend.
Legacy The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system. Legal This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. End of official listing. Share this . Your Contributions Do you know more about this entry? Please update your browser Our website works best with the latest version of the browsers below, unfortunately your browser is not supported.
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Gezicht op Hampden House Hampden House (titel op object) View of Hampden HouseHampden House (title object) Property Type: photomechanical print Item : RP-F Manufacturer : Photographer: Stephen Thompson Print Author: anonymous place manufacture: Great and Little Hampden Dating: ca . - or for Material: paper Technique: Woodburytypie Dimensions: print: h mm × W mmToelichtingPrent front Subject: country-house where: Hampden House