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Historic England Research Records

Chapmans Dell

Hob Uid: 232554
Location :
Basingstoke and Deane
Litchfield and Woodcott
Grid Ref : SU4552055880
Summary : A place-name mentioned in a Saxon charter identified by OGS Crawford with a pit or pond-like earthwork close to the junction of 3 parish boundaries. A lynchet belonging to a 'Celtic' field system appears to post-date it.
More information : [Name centred SU 456558] CHAPMAN'S DELL [OE] (1)

In Saxon charters of the 8th and 10th centuries the
bound '...to chapman's dell..' occurs.

O.G.S Crawford identified this as '...probably a pit still to
be seen at the junction of the modern parishes of Crux Easton,
Woodcott and Highclere. It closely resembles the so-called
'amphitheatres' which are frequently found near Romano-British

A kind of sunken way can be seen entering it from the west and
leaving it on the east. It is surrounded by a bank. Place-names
compounded with 'CHAPMAN' are almost invariably associated with
prehistoric roads or earthworks.

Grundy was of the opinion that it might be the old chalk-pit on
the south boundary of Crux Easton, just west of Sidown Ridge.

The natural point for this feature is at the Junction of the
three parishes 'and a visit to this point makes the decision
quite clear [that is, the author accept O.G.S Crawford's siting]. (2)

[SU 45575588] Earthwork - Chapman's Dell. (3)

Early reference to an earthwork at the north-east of Lower
Woodcott Down [not named] (4)

SU 45525588 - Just outside the north-west corner of Thorndown
Plantation at the head of a small steep-sided coombe forming
Lower Woodcott Down, is the earthwork identified by O.G.S.
Crawford. It has been formed by digging back into the slope and
making a narrow-topped, steep-sided, bank on the downhill side
creating an oval-shaped area, approx. 45 by 60 m., overall.

A fieldway - a hollowing accompanied by slight banks - enters
the eathwork at its north-west and south-east ends. On the
north-west this field way fades out in a pasture and on the
south-east it stops at the edge of the plantation though its
southern bank appears to turn to merge into a lynchet running
south along the side of the plantation.

A large lynchet rests on the bank of the earthwork and is
contemporary with, or later than the earthwork. The lynchet
forms part of a large field system of so-called 'Celtic' type
visible over a large area of the surrounding country - Hants 8
SE 21.

The earthwork and its immediate area are under grass, in a
pasture. Apart from slight cattle-treading the earthwork is

There appears to be no modern survival of the place-name,
Chapman's Dell, hereabouts. The element Chapman of the name
probably relates to the nearby trackway - the so-called 'Old
Way' - which passes the earthwork on the north; under five
miles away, to the south-west, CHAPMANSFORD is a place-name on
the Harrow Way - Hants 16 SE. (Dr. Grundy's identifiction of
the place-name refers to a disused chalk-pit at SU 44455690
which appears to be of comparatively recent origin.)

Dr. Crawford's identification of this as a circus seems
perfectly valid in view of its close similarity to known
examples. However, there are two other identical earthworks
nearby, Hants 9 SW 26 and 4, and the former has been suggested
to be a dug pond and compared with Park Brow, Cissbury -Sussex
51 SE 13 - a catchment pond, which, before excavation, was
thought to be a circus.

No more definite identification, other than the alternative
attribution, can be made by this investigator. (5)

Surveyed at 1/2500. Description of 27-2-57 stil correct. (6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source :
Source details : OS 1" 6th Edn. 1945
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source :
Source details : History of Highclere, (1940), p.15, plan. (Dunlop)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2a
Source :
Source details : Andover District, (1928) p.58, (O.G.S. Crawford)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2b
Source :
Source details :
Page(s) : 91
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 78, 1921
Source Number : 2c
Source :
Source details :
Page(s) : 58, 61
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 81, 1924
Source Number : 2d
Source :
Source details : Saxon Charters and Hants Place-names, (G.B. Grundy)
Page(s) : 133
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 83, 1926
Source Number : 3
Source :
Source details : Rec 6" (O.G.S. Crawford, 1944)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source :
Source details : T.W. Shore
Page(s) : 26
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1, 1885-7
Source Number : 5
Source :
Source details : F1 WW 27-FEB-57
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source :
Source details : F2 ASP 24-FEB-67
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Later Prehistoric
Display Date : Later Prehistoric
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Pit, Pond, Lynchet
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Pond, Pit
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Early Medieval
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 410
Monument Type : Pit, Pond
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 45 NE 38
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments :
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities :
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1927-01-01
End Date : 1927-12-31
Associated Activities :
Start Date : 1957-02-27
End Date : 1957-02-27
Associated Activities :
Start Date : 1967-02-24
End Date : 1967-02-24