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Survey and excavations on enclosures in Cranborne Chase

The dry summer of 1995 provided an exceptional opportunity for aerial photographers to record many previously unrecognised cropmark sites, as well as to add further detail to those already known. A summary of those sites discovered in North Dorset as a consequence of this dry weather was presented to the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society in October 1995 by Martin Green. This led the present author to consider the possibility of examining several of these sites further, using geophysical survey and limited excavation work.

Since survey time was restricted to weekends it was necessary to focus specifically on those sites which were of limited extent and could therefore be rapidly covered. In consultation with Martin Green five such sites were identified (see area plan), two of which were newly recognised, and three previously known.


The work carried out in this project has benefited greatly from the co-operation and assistance of the following landowners and tenant farmers: Mr Simon Meaden, Mr Andrew Meaden, Mr White, Mr Chick, Mr Green, Mr David, and the Cranborne Estate. Surveys were carried out with the assistance of Deborah Warriner, Jenny Yates, Gavin Wright, and Martin Green. Excavations at Manor Farm, Pentridge, were staffed by Mark Gaines, Beverly Hindle, Karen Rumsey, and Gavin Wright. Ken Wheatley conducted a metal detector survey of the spoilheaps, whilst Ian Hewitt compiled a selection of maps relevant to the area. The staff of excavations at Manor Farm, Sixpenny Handley, included all those mentioned above, as well as Phil MacGregor, Tim Tovey, Mike Evangli, and Ray Burrow. A particular debt of gratitude is owed to Beverly Hindle, for her considerable hardwork throughout this project, and to Martin Green, for arranging access to several of the sites. Mike Allen is also thanked for his generous offer to study a series of mollusc samples retrieved from Manor Farm, Sixpenny Handley.

The benefit of discussion with Tim Darvill, Bob Edwards, and Miles Russell of Bournemouth University; Mike Allen, Wessex Archaeology; Ros Cleal, Alexander Keiller Museum; and Richard Bradley, Reading University is also gratefully acknowledged.

See also related project work:

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This page has been compiled and is maintained by Steve Burrow. (Email: sburrow@bournemouth.ac.uk).

Last update: 18/10/96.