Bishop's Dyke

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007136

Date first listed: 05-Aug-1973

Map

Ordnance survey map of Bishop's Dyke
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: Carlisle (District Authority)

Parish: Dalston

National Grid Reference: NY 36844 51345, NY 37044 51538, NY 37305 51881, NY 37726 51800

Summary

Sections of Bishop’s Dyke, north and west of Dalston Hall.

Reasons for Designation

A small number of substantial and defensible boundary features have been identified as frontier works marking territories in the early medieval period. Up to 50 examples are known with a fairly wide distribution across England, including examples in southern England, East Anglia, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and along the Welsh border. Identified remains extend over distances from as little as 300m up to as much as 240km in the case of Offa's Dyke. They survive in the form of earthworks and as buried features visible as cropmarks or soilmarks on aerial photographs. They appear often to have been constructed across the natural grain of the landscape and, although many examples consisted of a single bank and flanking ditch, to vary considerably in their form and dimensions, even along different stretches of the same boundary, depending upon local topography. Evidence from contemporary documentary sources, excavation and survey suggests that they were constructed in the early medieval period between the fifth and eighth centuries AD. Some were relatively ephemeral, perhaps in use for only a few years during periods of local strife; others, such as Offa's Dyke, constructed between Wales and Mercia, have formed long-lived territorial and/or military boundaries in use for several centuries. As a rare monument type of considerable importance to the study of early medieval territorial patterns, all surviving examples are identified as nationally important.

The sections of Bishop’s Dyke north and west of Dalston Hall are reasonably well-preserved as earthworks. The monument will contain archaeological deposits within the bank and infilled ditch relating to its construction and use. The monument is representative of its period and region and provides insight into the turbulent history of the Borders region during the medieval period.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 29 March 2016. 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.

The monument includes the remains of a dyke of medieval date, which traverse a south facing slope to the north and the west of Dalston Hall. The remains of the dyke, known as Bishop’s Dyke, are contained within four separate areas of protection with two of the sections being aligned north east-south west, one of the sections being aligned east-west and the longest section being aligned east-west before turning south west. The dyke includes a bank and double ditch with a causeway set in between. The dyke acted as a boundary marking land belonging to Dalston Hall and is also understood to have been used as a defensive earthwork to protect against Scottish marauders. The Scots laid waste to Dalston in 1337 and 1346 resulting in the construction of a pele tower. Court Rolls from 1423 record repairs to the dyke.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: CU 381

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

Sources

Other
PastScape Monument No:- 1032504

End of official listing