Cross dyke, 200m south east of Hosedon Linn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008274

Date first listed: 14-Jul-1980

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Mar-1994


Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke, 200m south east of Hosedon Linn
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Nov-2018 at 11:49:38.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Alwinton

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Biddlestone


National Grid Reference: NT 91943 08021


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.

The cross dyke south east of Hosedon Linn is very well preserved. It is one of several cross dykes associated with Clennell Street, and forms one of a group of cross dykes associated with other drove roads in the border area. They will contribute to our understanding of prehistoric and medieval territorial division in the northern borderlands.


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


The monument includes the remains of a cross dyke situated across the flat top of an east-west ridge; it runs for 275m from precipitous slopes at the western end to steep slopes at the east. The dyke comprises an earthen bank 5m wide which stands to a maximum height of 1.5m; there is a ditch 2.5m wide and 0.5m deep on the north side of the bank and a ditch of slighter proportions on the south side of the bank. The association of the cross dyke with the medieval drove road of Clennell Street, which passes through a gap in the dyke, is thought to suggest that it is contemporary with it and may have served as a method of coralling sheep. It is however likely that it is prehistoric in origin and was reused during the medieval period. The fence line which crosses the cross dyke from north to south is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath it 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: 25015

Legacy System: RSM


NT 90 NW 07,

End of official listing