Cross dyke south east of Uplaw Knowe


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008275

Date first listed: 22-Mar-1994


Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke south east of Uplaw Knowe
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Mar-2019 at 06:24:25.


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 91497 08479

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 Uplaw Knowe is 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 on the northern borderlands.


The monument includes the remains of a cross dyke which runs for 130m above a saddle of ground in a north west to south east ridge. It is thought that the monument was once a much longer feature running between steep slopes on either side of the ridge. The dyke comprises an earthen bank 4m-6m wide standing to a maximum height of 1m with a ditch 2.5m wide and 0.5m deep on the south side of the bank. Clennell Street, a medieval drove road, passes through a gap in the cross dyke but its relationship with the monument is uncertain. It is thought that the cross dyke is prehistoric in origin and marks a territorial division which may have been reused during the medieval period. The fence line which crosses the cross dyke from south east to north west 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: 25016

Legacy System: RSM


NT 90 NW 04,

End of official listing