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Historic England Research Records

Church Henge

Hob Uid: 621822
Location :
Dorset
Woodlands
Grid Ref : SU0239010280
Summary : Church Henge (also known as the 'Central Circle') is the best preserved of the three henges at Knowlton, part of a cluster of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments [see record 213817 for an overview of the whole complex]. It comprises a subcircular earthwork enclosure with banks and external ditch, and contains the ruined remains of the medieval Knowlton Church [SU 01 SW 42] and several enclosures. The main enclosure, orientated roughly north east-south west, measures 106 metres by 94 metres overall. The enclosing ditch is 10 metres wide and up to 1 metre deep while the banks measure 10 metres in width and stand up to 1.75 metres high. Three gaps are present in the enclosure circuit, though it is unclear how many are original. They are to the south west, east and north east. A contour survey was undertaken of the earthworks by Bournemouth University in 1995. It is suggested that that the bank around the west entrance was altered subsequent to the henge's construction, possibly in connection with the construction or use of the church. Additionally the north eastern entrance may have been created by secondary infilling of the ditch and removal of the bank. No excavation is known to have been undertaken at the site. The enclosure has been mapped from aerial photographs by EH's Knowlton Circles Project. The site is in the care of English Heritage.
More information : (SU 024103) Central Circle or Church Henge, occupied by the ruins of Knowlton Church, is the best preserved of the enclosures. It is oval in plan, 350ft by 310ft overall, consisting of a series of straight lengths linked by rounded corners. The bank is 35ft wide 6ft high. A slight ledge below the inner crest for much of the circuit suggests it has at some time been heightened. The ditch is up to 35ft wide and 4ft deep, though damaged by quarrying appears to have originally been irregular and interrupted by a series of causeways. Three possible entrances are present, the eastern example is likely to be the original. (1)

Knowlton Centre. SU 02391028. Sub-oval enclosure defined by a slightly irregular ditch and outer bank. The bank is broken in three places although both the SW and E gaps appear rather narrow. Clear causeway across the ditch facing NE and SW to correspond with those gaps in the bank. There appears to be no berm between the bank and the ditch. (2)

The 'Central Circle' or 'Church Henge'. The oval enclosure measures 106 metres by 94 metres and is defined by a ditch and banks. Scheduling amended. (4)

The enclosure has been mapped from aerial photographs by EH's Knowlton Circles Project. (5-6)

Published report of aerial photography analysis from the Knowlton Circles project, noted above. (7)

Additional source, which includes a brief accessible overview of the complex of earthworks at Knowlton, for visitors. (8)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : An inventory of historical monuments in the County of Dorset. Volume five : east Dorset
Source details :
Page(s) : 113-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Henge monuments and related sites of Great Britain : air photographic evidence and catalogue
Source details : Site 051
Page(s) : 128-9
Figs. : 127
Plates : 125
Vol(s) : 175
Source Number : 3
Source : Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society
Source details : Burrow, S and J Gale. Survey and Excavation at Knowlton RIngs, Woodland Parish, Dorset 1993-5.
Page(s) : 131-2
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 117, 1995
Source Number : 4
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : EH Scheduling amendment, 05-JUL-2002
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SU 0210/72 (NMR 15314/09) 13-JUL-1995
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SU 0210/65-7 (NMR 15326/05-7) 13-JUL-1995
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Knowlton Circles Project, Dorset: report on the aerial photographic transcription and analysis
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Heritage Unlocked: Guide to free sites in Devon, Dorset and Somerset
Source details :
Page(s) : 50-51
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Late Neolithic
Display Date : Late Neolithic
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Henge
Evidence : Earthwork, Cropmark
Monument Period Name : Early Bronze Age
Display Date : Early Bronze Age
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Henge
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Enclosure
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : NMR 4492/07
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : ViewFinder
External Cross Reference Number : NMR 4492/09
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 35209
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : EH Property Number
External Cross Reference Number : 278
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1020580
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 01 SW 102
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1409762
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1409903
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1409951
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1409952
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1409963
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 213815
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: KNOWLTON, DORSET
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2000-11-27
End Date : 2001-02-09