Cross-dyke on Ratlinghope Hill, 740m north of Brow Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. 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 - 1007699.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 01-Mar-2021 at 19:55:46.


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

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 40355 97520

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.

The cross-dyke on Ratlinghope Hill survives well and is a fine example of its class. It remains largely undisturbed and will retain archaeological material and environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed and the economy of the society that built it. It is one of a complex of associated monuments occupying the hilltop and, as such, contributes information relating to the land use and settlement pattern of this area of upland during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age.


The monument includes a cross-dyke situated on a narrow north east to south west orientated spur between Stitt Hill and Ratlinghope Hill. The cross- dyke cuts at right angles across the spur to separate the south western tip of the spur from the main plateau to the north east. It comprises a well defined linear bank 60m long and 7m wide standing up to 0.8m high. This is flanked on its north east side by a ditch, 4m wide and 0.7m deep, from which material for the bank was quarried. The earthwork is cut 9m from its northern end by a terraced trackway, the end of the bank remaining traceable to the north of this cut, before it tails out on the steepening hillslope. A similar terraced way truncates the dyke at its southern end. The earthwork is part of a complex of cross-dykes and enclosures occupying the hilltop which are believed to date from the Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age. Although their function is uncertain it is believed they were used by inhabitants to manage stock and control the grazing of the hilltop. All boundary features crossing the earthwork towards its north and south ends are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath both is included.

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.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Guilbert, G, 'BBCS' in BBCS, , Vol. XXVI, (1975), 368


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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].