There are several minor roads which run across Minchinhampton Common.
One of the roads runs right through The Bulwarks Dyke.
I have only ever visited a couple of Dykes in the past but this is probably the second most impressive I have seen (after a superb section of Offa’s Dyke near Knighton).
The Dyke is very obvious and snakes across the Common.
The banks still stand to around 2m in height – from the base of the ditch
Well worth a look when visiting the nearby Whitfields Tump Long Barrow.
In the excellent book Prehistoric England by Nicholas Thomas (page 131) there is a nice photo of a section of the Dyke being excavated. You can see how well constructed it was. In the book it is referred to as Minchinhampton Enclosure and is said to be over 1 mile long enclosing an area of 600 acres. The excavation found the original ditch to have been 6ft deep and 12ft wide. Interestingly the book states the Dyke may have been built by Caratacus following his defeat by the Romans. (Don't think it would have stopped the Romans for very long!)
Second visit (23.8.09) walking up from Nailsworth to follow the southern section of the earthwork. Today a herd of cows grazing on the common were competing with a herd of golfers and the ever-present traffic to cause the greatest degree of hazard to the innocent stone-spotter.
The bank and ditch has been incorporated into the golf course and forms a backdrop to a number of tees and greens. Still, it's all ritual of a sort...
Visited 21.3.2009 on walk from Nailsworth, via Avening and Minchinhampton. a lovely spring day brought loads of people out onto the common, flying kites, horse-riding, dog-walking and (inevitably) golfing, as the common is home to yet another Cotswold golf-course.
The earthworks known as The Bulwarks are mainly notable for their length (about 2 miles) rather than any huge scale. The common is covered in earthworks, ranging in date from the Neolithic Whitfield's Tump, through the Bronze Age (a possible round barrow) to the medieval (various pillow mounds). The Bulwarks are generally attributed as an Iron Age construction.
Worth a visit, especially on a nice day combined with a trip to the ice-cream van.