Castle Dykes Henge


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


© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. 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 - 1008878.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 20-Oct-2020 at 01:15:15.


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

North Yorkshire
Richmondshire (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SD 98231 87289

Reasons for Designation

Henges are ritual or ceremonial centres which date to the Late Neolithic period (2800-2000 BC). They were constructed as roughly circular or oval- shaped enclosures comprising a flat area over 20m in diameter enclosed by a ditch and external bank. One, two or four entrances provided access to the interior of the monument, which may have contained a variety of features including timber or stone circles, post or stone alignments, pits, burials or central mounds. Finds from the ditches and interiors of henges provide important evidence for the chronological development of the sites, the types of activity that occurred within them and the nature of the environment in which they were constructed. Henges occur throughout England with the exception of south-eastern counties and the Welsh Marches. They are generally situated on low ground, often close to springs and water-courses. Henges are rare nationally with about 80 known examples. As one of the few types of identified Neolithic structures and in view of their comparative rarity, all henges are considered to be of national importance.

Castle Dykes is a very well preserved example of this relatively rare monument type. It is reported that an excavation of the site by Canon Wylie took place in 1908, no positive trace of this survives and the site appears largely undisturbed. There is therefore potential for the survival of environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was constructed; particularly within the henge ditch which supports lush wetland vegetation suggestive of underlying peat.


This very well preserved henge monument is prominently situated astride a low east to west glacial ridge. The monument includes a roughly circular enclosure defined by a well preserved bank and internal ditch. The maximum diameter is 75m across the crest of the bank from east to west and 68m from north to south. The earthwork survives to an average height of 2m from the crest of the bank to the base of the ditch. The ditch, averaging 10.5m wide, has been slightly infilled by weathering especially near the entrance which has lessened the profile of the causeway. The only original entrance is that on the eastern side; interruptions to the bank on the northern and southern sides appear to be recent and are not matched by corresponding causeways across the ditch. The eastern entrance is simple in form and rather narrow, with the ditch causeway only about 2m wide.

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
Allcroft, A H, Earthworks of England, (1908), 577-578
Allcroft, A H, Earthworks of England, (1908), 30
Turnbull, P, Castle Dykes Henge Monument, (1993)
Turnbull, P, Castle Dykes Henge Monument, (1993)


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].