Tor Dike linear earthwork


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012003

Date first listed: 14-Jun-1995


Ordnance survey map of Tor Dike linear earthwork
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Nov-2018 at 07:44:36.


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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Craven (District Authority)

Parish: Kettlewell with Starbotton

County: North Yorkshire

District: Richmondshire (District Authority)

Parish: Carlton Highdale


National Grid Reference: SD 98136 75477


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

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.

This is a well preserved and substantial monument which will retain significant archaeological evidence within its bank and ditch. Unusually it has a series of broadly contemporary settlements and enclosures abutting it. Information on the development of the earthwork and its relationship with the adjacent settlement remains will be preserved.


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


This substantial linear earthwork is situated across a valley head guarding access into Coverdale from Upper Wharfedale. It stretches for a length of approximately 2000m. The western section of the earthwork includes a ditch, 3m deep and approximately 6m wide, cut into the base of a vertical limestone scar. Above the ditch on the north side is an earth and stone rampart averaging 1m high and 3m wide. Sections of the rampart include rough grooves and pits where stone has been quarried to build the adjacent wall at some time in the more recent past. Further west the limestone scar peters out and a shallower and narrower ditch extends discernibly as far as Top Mere Gate. Where the scar terminates on the east side the line is strengthened and continued by a substantial rampart averaging 1.8m in height and approximately 4m wide. In places, both on the east and west sides of the monument, the rampart is abutted by small enclosures and hut circles, with diameters of up to 20m, of an Iron Age type, which are broadly contemporary in date. Other enclosures built into the ditch at several points appear to be later. The field wall running along the edge of the rampart and the surface of the road crossing the monument are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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: 24537

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Beresford, M W, Jones, G R J, Leeds and its Region, (1967), 98
White, R,

End of official listing