Cross-dyke, field bank, ridge and furrow and hut structures 400m south of High Park House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009316

Date first listed: 17-Oct-1930

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Feb-1994


Ordnance survey map of Cross-dyke, field bank, ridge and furrow and hut structures 400m south of High Park House
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: All Stretton

National Grid Reference: SO 44372 96765


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.

Despite some limited damage by trackways cutting through the monument, the cross-dyke 400m south of High Park House survives well and is a good example of its class. Throughout most of its length it remains intact and undisturbed and will preserve both artefactual and structural archaeological evidence. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was constructed will survive sealed on the old land surface beneath the bank and in the ditch fill. The other associated features (the abutting field bank, ridge and furrow and sub-circular hut features) provide important information relating to their stratigraphic relationship to each other and to the changing land use of the site. The cross-dyke will permit an understanding of such changes through time. The monument is the largest of several such cross-dyke structures which occur in similar ridge top situations on the Long Mynd, often in close association with other monuments both of the same period and later. Considered in association it represents a fine example of a particularly important group of monuments which contribute valuable information towards an understanding of the type and intensity of settlement and the nature of land use of this area of upland during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age.


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


The monument includes a substantial cross-dyke, a linear bank, a sample of ridge and furrow and two sub-circular features. The cross-dyke lies orientated NNW to SSE crossing a broad roughly east to west ridge, ending on the edge of a steep sided gully in the south and a somewhat more shallow gully in the north. The earthwork is cut by a modern field boundary 130m from its north end, the portion to the north being within enclosed sheep pasture, that to the south in open moorland. As a result the survival characteristics of the two sections of earthwork differ. The northern portion is visible as a substantial earth and stone bank 142m long averaging 6m wide and 0.8m high, surmounted by a modern hedge bank and hedge. This is cut at its southern end, immediately north of the fence line, by a modern break 3m wide. Though there are no surviving physical traces of a ditch alongside the bank, differential growth in the grass cover on the west side suggests that a ditch does survive here as a buried feature. The larger portion of the dyke lies to the south of the enclosed land in open moorland; here it includes a linear bank some 240m long, averaging 8m wide and varying between 0.2m and 0.8m high on its east, downslope, side, 0.8m to 1.2m high on its west, upslope, side. The bank is flanked along its west side by a clearly visible ditch which averages 5m wide and 0.6m deep. This appears to be a continuation of the buried ditch noted as a crop-mark in the northern section of the earthwork. A second bank, 1.5m wide and 0.2m high, lies parallel to the main embankment on the west side. It commences 4m south of the modern field boundary and runs for some 68m south before fading out. From this point a section of the ditch running roughly between 69m and 91m south of the hedgeline appears to have been re-cut into the base of the main ditch, giving an incised ditch 1m wide and 0.2m deep at the base of the embankment. The southern portion of the cross-dyke is cut in three places: immediately south of the field boundary a trackway 4m wide runs parallel to the edge of the enclosed land, the track cutting through the bank and lying on a level roughly at the bottom of the ditch. The double bank, strengthening the cross-dyke defences at this point, suggests that this is the position of an original entrance gap. A hill drain 2m wide cuts through the earthworks 51m south of the field boundary and a second trackway cuts through both the bank and ditch some 130m south of the hedgeline. The second trackway cutting is 2m wide and incised 0.6m into the old land surface, below the base level of the ditch. Though it appears modern, its position may also represent the original location of an entrance gap through the earthworks. The cross-dyke would have functioned as a boundary structure associated with a system of land management during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. To the east of the cross-dyke some 93m south from the hedgeline and running roughly at right angles to the main dyke, a medieval field bank abuts onto the earthwork. It runs east for some considerable distance averaging 2m wide, 0.2m high on its north side and 0.4m on its south side, where it is flanked by a ditch 1m wide and 0.1m deep. The area to the north of this bank, between it and the enclosed land, shows evidence of vestigial ridge and furrow; it lies orientated east to west and averages 4m wide. At the northern end of the section of earthwork, in open moorland, are two sub-circular rubble walled features, the remains of small huts or animal shelters. One is located on the alignment of the main ditch and overlies the western bank; its south and west sides survive as a low rubble wall averaging 0.5m wide and 0.1m high abutted onto the main bank. The second lies 18m east and 10m south of the hedgeline. It comprises a low rubble wall of similar construction forming a small oval structure 7.4m east to west by 6m north to south with walls 0.2m high on their external face, 0.1m high on their internal face and is open on the south side. All modern boundary features overlying the monument, and the water tank building at SO44329694 are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 4 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: 19112

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing