|LCT5 River Valley Floor||
LCA5H Pillhill Brook Valley Floor
Pillhill Brook Valley Floor meanders through a relatively narrow valley, strongly enclosed by the gentle but well defined chalk sides with numerous villages and hamlets, before joining the River Anton at Upper Clatford.
The landscape character changes distinctly along the length of the valley, from a small spring fed watercourse set within the open chalk landscape near Kimpton, to a more substantial stream flowing through water meadows, woodland and valley floor pasture to the east of the A343.
Pillhill Brook Valley Floor follows Pillhill Brook from Kimpton and Fyfield to where it joins the River Anton at Upper Clatford.
Local Physical Influences
Geology and soils: Alluvium along the watercourse with Valley Gravels to either side.
Landform: A shallow valley through broad chalk downland slopes.
Drainage: A small stream with ditches and several ponds.
Local Historical Influences
The Pillhill Brook Valley Floor unusually contains some possible evidence of water meadow construction close to Fyfield. This general lack of evidence may be due in part to their destruction by later agricultural activities or that water meadows were simply not as widespread within the Pillhill Brook Valley Floor. Instead there are numerous watercress beds and it may be that this form of water management during the 18th and 19th centuries replaced water meadows as the dominant form of agricultural land use. Miscellaneous valley floor enclosures also occupy large areas of the Pillhill Brook Valley Floor.
Between East Cholderton and Kimpton the valley floor is occupied almost exclusively by later 18th and 19th century parliamentary field systems and this is the same for the valley sides further down the valley.
A Roman Road extends across the valley and through the village of Monxton. The earthworks associated with its construction have long since disappeared although its course has been fossilized within the roads and tracks which cross the valley. To the north east of Monxton it is visible beneath Andover Road while to the south west it survives partially within the line of Grately Drove.
A now dismantled railway line once extended across the valley floor to the west of Monxton and the earthen bank which carried the line across the valley floor survives within a miscellaneous valley floor enclosure.
Several settlements occupy the valley floor with the historic cores of villages such as Sarson, Little Ann and Upper Clatford located close to but not on the valley floor. Later 19th century development has extended onto the flood plains of this valley between Upper Clatford and Little Ann. This more extensive development is probably associated the rapid growth of Andover to the north.
A number of settlements closely follow the contours of the river valley as can be seen at Little Ann and Sarson (both linear settlements). Other more nucleated settlements such as Kimpton and Monxton lie close by and development since 1800 has caused the amalgamation of a number of these settlements. This has created a string of closely associated settlements adjacent to the river, with the only open areas left where roads actually leave the valley, as shown south of Fyfield.
Very few farms occupy the valley floor of this character area and are instead generally located upon the first river terrace up until Amport. Further beyond Amport farms begin to occupy the valley floor sitting within the 19th century parliamentary landscape.
The road network criss-cosses the valley floor, with a large number of crossing points. There are only a few areas where the road leaves the river side.
Local Settlements and Features of Built Form
Abbots Ann: Chalk River Valley Settlement Type
East Cholderton: Chalk River Valley Settlement Type
Little Ann: Chalk River Valley Settlement Type
Monxton (Northern portion): Chalk River Valley Settlement Type
Thruxton: Chalk River Valley Settlement Type
Upper Clatford (Northern portion): Chalk River Valley Settlement Type
Traditional buildings are commonly half-timbered and thatched.
No particular specific comments were made for this area.
Remoteness and Tranquillity
Due to the higher density of roads and settlement within this area, there are a limited number of areas with good levels of tranquillity and a sense of remoteness.
A shallow valley of river gravels and alluvium over chalk
Upper reaches usually a winterborne
Land use predominantly under pasture or meadow grassland
Poplar, willow and alder lined watercourses
Evidence of water meadows as at Fyfield and miscellaneous enclosures, watercress beds and the partial enclosure of land within parliamentary field systems
A high concentration of settlements sited at crossing points such as Monxton and Abbotts Ann
Changes in traditional landscape character arising from new development at Anna Valley
A high density of roads, with numerous crossing points
Intrusion from A303(T), railway line and Monxton viaduct.
Local Natural and Cultural Landscape Issues
Impact of settlement development as a result of an overspill from Andover into the Anna Valley
Visual and acoustic impact of A303, the A343 and the railway line
Pressure for inclusion of water meadows into domestic gardens
Pollution of the river and its tributaries through fertiliser run off and aqua culture ventures (fish farms, water cress beds).