Linear earthwork running from the head of Warren Dale towards Sledmere Field Farm and associated settlement site


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


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

East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 94647 61478

Reasons for Designation

Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used later. The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries in the landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age; all well preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.

The linear earthwork at Sledmere is a well-preserved part of an extensive system of prehistoric boundaries recorded on the Wolds. Taken together, the linear earthwork and the associated settlement will provide an insight into both prehistoric land division in the area and the developing patterns of land-use through time.


The monument includes a prehistoric linear earthwork, part of a wider system of linear earthworks in this area of the Yorkshire Wolds, and an associated settlement lying to the immediate south of the earthwork and visible on aerial photographs. The length of the earthwork included in the monument is 3700m, running west from the head of Warren Dale. The earthwork is thought originally to have continued further west than the west end of the monument but its survival and extent beyond this point is unknown. The eastern end of the monument is thought to mark an original break in the boundary system, with the alignment continued further east by a separate earthwork. The earthwork is up to 36m wide and consists of a bank flanked by ditches on either side. The ditches are between 5m and 7m wide and are up to 1.75m deep. The bank is between 5m and 10m wide and up to 2m high. The survival of the earthwork varies along its length. It is best preserved at the eastern end of the monument and in Black Wood, although in the latter area there has been disturbance by tree planting. Elsewhere, the bank has been spread and the ditches in-filled as a result of arable agriculture, although the line of the earthwork is visible on aerial photographs and as a slight earthwork on the ground. The settlement remains, which lie to the immediate south of the linear earthwork in the area directly west of the monument to Sir Tatton Sykes, are clearly visible on aerial photographs as buried features, although arable agriculture has removed surface traces. The remains of hut circles, enclosures and pens are indicated, covering an area about 520m long alongside the linear earthwork and extending some 350m back from it. The form of the settlement is prehistoric and it appears to post-date the construction of the linear earthwork, although not necessarily by a long period of time. The surface of the modern roads are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included since the in-filled ditches of the earthwork are considered to survive beneath them.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Loughlin, N, Miller, K, Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, (1979), 96
CU BRA 99 SE9561/2 f.273, Cambridge University, (Ref CU BRA 99 SE956/2 f.273),


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

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