Section of Danes' Dyke between the Cliff Plantation and the B1255


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013191

Date first listed: 30-Aug-1922

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Aug-1995


Ordnance survey map of Section of Danes' Dyke between the Cliff Plantation and the B1255
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Bridlington

District: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Flamborough

National Grid Reference: TA 21523 69753


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.

The Danes' Dyke is extremely well preserved and remains a significant boundary in the modern landscape. It will retain important archaeological and environmental information relating to the date of its construction and function, together with evidence of the contemporary climate and ecology of the locality and subsequent history of use.


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


The monument includes the extreme southern section of the linear bank and ditch system known as the Danes' Dyke, which in its entirety runs from the coast north of Flamborough Head south for a distance of two and a half miles, enclosing an area of approximately five square miles of headland. This section of the Dyke is situated between the cliffs on the southern end of Flamborough Head, and the B1255 road. The Danes' Dyke is thought to have been constructed in the Bronze Age along with other linear earthworks on the nearby Yorkshire Wolds. Its name, however, suggests a later date and it would seem likely that it was reused as a defensive earthwork at some point in the late ninth and tenth centuries AD. The dyke effectively cuts off the Flamborough peninsula, which is also naturally defended on all sides by steep chalk cliffs. The area thus enclosed is large enough, and has sufficient resources, to support a sizeable community, with sources of fresh water available. Throughout most of its length the dyke has a single bank and ditch, although in places additional stretches of parallel bank and ditch also exist. The dyke system appears to have an original rounded terminal to the east of the former Danes' Dyke House and at the head of the valley which runs south to the sea. Although this terminal appears original, the east side of the valley further south was augmented by some form of rampart, building rubble for which has been recorded falling onto the beach from the southern end of the valley. This therefore suggests that the eastern side of the valley was augmented by a separate section of earthwork. Field evidence suggests this was of a slighter construction than the dyke sections further north. Where the valley and the rampart diverge, the ditch varies from between 8m to 12m wide. The bank is between 18m and 23m wide and has an average height of approximately 7m from the bottom of the ditch. The ditch is clearly visible in places, and in others has all but disappeared (for example where a paved road has been constructed along its length), in which case the ditch will survive as a buried feature. The bank and ditch system is interrupted along its length by several gaps, which are most probably of recent construction, for access or drainage purposes. These cuttings afford a cross-sectional view of the bank, which is roughly triangular, and is constructed of chalk blocks or rubble, and earth with the upper part of turves and a foundation of compacted stones. A revetment wall constructed of turves would have consolidated the mound material and kept it in place. Although normally of a single bank and ditch construction for its length, the dyke becomes a double bank, with a second, lower bank on the westward side, towards the northern end of this segment, where it is cut by the B1255 road. There is evidence of a further low arm of a bank, creating a triple defence, immediately south of this road cutting. Although the sections of the dyke system across the Flamborough peninsula abut each other, for purposes of clarity and administration, the sections have been defined as separate schedulings. The modern paved road surface which follows the line of the ditch south from the B1255 road is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included. Modern post and wire fences, together with modern seats for recreational use are also excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these is also 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: 26505

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of East Riding of Yorkshire, (1974), 151-152
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), p367
Ramm, H, 'RAI Summer Meeting Proceedings, 18/7/84' in Danes' Dyke, Flamborough (TA216694-213732), (1984), pp37-39
Bastow, M E, Ancients Monuments Record Form, AM107, (1987)
Environmental Consultancy, Univ. of Sheffield, Danes Dyke: Site Management Plan Survey, 1994, Report to East Yorks Borough Council
Information held by Humberside SMR, Various, (1994)
Pitt-Rivers, Major General, Papers of the British Association, (1881)
Scheduled Ancient Monuments Record, (1988)

End of official listing