This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Offa's Dyke: section S of Riddings Brook on Herrock Hill

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Offa's Dyke: section S of Riddings Brook on Herrock Hill

List entry Number: 1005358

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: County of Herefordshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Kington Rural

County:

District: County of Herefordshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Knill

County:

District: County of Herefordshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Lower Harpton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 04-Dec-1951

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

UID: HE 133

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Part of the medieval frontier defence called Offa’s Dyke 680m SSE of Lower Harpton Farm.

Reasons for Designation

Offa's Dyke is the longest linear earthwork in Britain, approximately 220km, running from Treuddyn, near Mold, to Sedbury on the Severn estuary. It was constructed towards the end of the eighth century AD by the Mercian king Offa, and is believed to have formed a long-lived territorial, and possibly defensive, boundary between the Saxon kingdom of Mercia and the Welsh kingdoms. The Dyke is not continuous and consists of a number of discrete lengths separated by gaps of up to 23km. It is clear from the nature of certain sections that differences in the scale and character of adjoining portions were the result of separate gangs being employed on different lengths. Where possible, natural topographic features such as slopes or rivers were utilised, and the form of Offa's Dyke is therefore clearly related to the topography. Along most of its length it consists of a bank with a ditch to the west. Excavation has indicated that at least some lengths of the bank had a vertical outer face of either laid stonework or turf revetment. The ditch generally seems to have been used to provide most of the bank material, although there is also evidence in some locations of shallow quarries. In places, a berm divides the bank and ditch, and a counterscarp bank may be present on the lip of the ditch. Offa's Dyke now survives in various states of preservation in the form of earthworks and, where sections have been levelled and infilled, as buried features. Although some sections of the frontier system no longer survive visibly, sufficient evidence does exist for its position to be accurately identified throughout most of its length. In view of its contribution towards the study of early medieval territorial patterns, all sections of Offa's Dyke exhibiting significant archaeological remains are considered worthy of protection.

Despite some scrub growth and adaptive re-use the part of the medieval frontier defence called Offa’s Dyke 680m SSE of Lower Harpton Farm survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, and maintenance, social, political, economic, territorial and strategic significance and overall landscape context.

History

See Details.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 2 June 2015.This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.

This monument, which falls into two separate areas, includes part of a medieval frontier defence situated on the steeply sloping and prominent spur called Herrock Hill and also crossing the valley of the Riddings Brook. These sections of the dyke survive differentially throughout their extensive length either as a single bank of up to 5.1m wide and 2.1m high with a silted western ditch of up to 5.1m wide, or in places as a bank with a double also buried ditch and elsewhere as a bank with two visible ditches and a counterscarp bank. In many places the dyke has been re-used as current field boundaries. Throughout its length the scale of Offa’s Dyke varies but on average the bank is more than 2m high and the overall width including the associated ‘Wales–facing’ ditch (on occasion there are ditches on both sides) is around 18m wide. Originally thought to have been built to divide the Anglo-Saxon state of Mercia from the Welsh principalities Offa’s Dyke extends from near Prestatyn on the Clwyd sea coast in the north to Sedbury Cliff in Gloucestershire on the River Severn in the south a total distance of some 149 miles and at least 81 miles of the dyke survive. Probably military in origin, the dyke is mentioned in deeds of the 13th century in England and in Welsh writings of Asser of St David’s where it is attributed to King Offa (AD 757 – 796). There is excavated evidence for its being of post Roman date and it has been the subject of several surveys including one carried out by Manchester University on behalf of the Royal Archaeological Institute Linear Earthworks Research Project in 1984.

Offa’s Dyke is protected by a number of separate schedulings.

Selected Sources

Other
Herefordshire SMR 717 and 8218
PastScape 692984

National Grid Reference: SO 28087 60352, SO 28279 59377

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1005358 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2017 at 10:24:54.

End of official listing