Cross-dyke on Barrister's Plain, 800m south east of Narnell's Rock


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


© 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 - 1007703.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 20:39:28.


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

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Church Stretton
National Grid Reference:
SO 42594 92742

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 Barrister's Plain is a particularly good example of its class which survives largely intact and undisturbed. It will retain archaeological material within the deposits of the bank and ditch and environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was constructed will be sealed on the old land surface beneath the bank and in the ditch fill. The monument is one of several cross-dyke structures which occur in similar ridge top situations on the Long Mynd, often in close association with other monuments of the same period. Considered as a group they contribute valuable information towards an understanding of the intensity of settlement and nature of land use of this area of upland during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age.


The monument includes a univallate cross-dyke situated on Barrister's Plain, a narrow saddle between Round Hill to the north-west and Grindle Hill to the south-east. The dyke is visible as a well defined linear bank of earth and stone construction 170m long, averaging 5.5m wide and 0.6m high, with a flanking ditch on its north-west side 3m wide and 0.4m deep. The earthworks are orientated north-east to south-west, cutting across the line of the ridge top at its narrowest point. The bank tails off down the sides of the hill at either end to link the precipitous north and south scarps of the spur; the ditch fades out as the bank ends. The bank is lowered between 19m and 28m from the southern end, possibly the result of slighting at some time in the past. A trackway 4m wide crosses the ditch and cuts through the bank some 66m from the southern end of the dyke. Although this appears modern, it could represent the original position of a passage through the dyke. The structure is clearly not of a defensive nature, being too slight and overlooked from both sides. However, it effectively isolates the eastern tip of the spur, `Grindle Hill', from the main body of the hill to the west and would have functioned as part of a system of land management during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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:


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].