Aldro earthworks: a cross-dyke on Birdsall Wold, 200m west of Brown Moor Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007485

Date first listed: 15-Jan-1931

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Jan-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of Aldro earthworks: a cross-dyke on Birdsall Wold, 200m west of Brown Moor Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Thixendale

National Grid Reference: SE 80707 62149

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Cross dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.2km and 1km long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to one or more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across ridges and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on aerial photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation and analogy with associated monuments demonstrates that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used later. Current information favours the view that they were used as territorial boundary markers, probably demarcating land allotment within communities, although they may also have been used as trackways, cattle droveways or defensive earthworks. Cross dykes are one of the few monument types which illustrate how land was divided up in the prehistoric period. They are of considerable importance for any analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age. Very few have survived to the present day and hence all well- preserved examples are considered to be of national importance.

Although altered over most of its length by agricultural activity, the northern end of the cross-dyke is well preserved. It was part of an extensive system of prehistoric dykes which has been recorded in the vicinity of Birdsall Wold and has further associations with other broadly contemporary monuments of similar type. Parallels are also known from other parts of the Wolds and from the southern edge of the North York Moors. Such associations between monuments offer important scope for the study of the division of land for social, ritual and agricultural purposes in different geographical areas during the prehistoric period.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes part of a prehistoric cross-dyke which ran from the bottom of Brownmoor Dale northwards across the plateau at the western end of Birdsall Wold. The cross-dyke is one of a number of prehistoric monuments in the vicinity of Aldro Farm. Although infilled and levelled by cultivation over most of its length, the southern part of the dyke, as it rises up the north side of the Dale, is visible as a 6m wide ditch, 0.5m deep and flanked by 0.3m high banks, having an overall width of 20m. The continuing course of the ditch has been traced on aerial photographs and J R Mortimer, who recorded the prehistoric remains in the 19th century, noted that the ditch was visible as a cropmark.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 20496

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905)
Other
Stoetz, K., RCHME unpublished survey,

End of official listing