Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary 235m south of Stanwick Hall Reservoir


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013304

Date first listed: 25-Mar-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Nov-1995


Ordnance survey map of Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary 235m south of Stanwick Hall Reservoir
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Nov-2018 at 17:56:11.


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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Richmondshire (District Authority)

Parish: Melsonby

National Grid Reference: NZ 19739 09148


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

Reasons for Designation

Scots Dyke is a linear earthwork extending for 14km from the River Swale to the River Tees in North Yorkshire. Significant sections remain visible as upstanding earthworks and indicate that the dyke system had an earthen rampart flanked on the eastern side by a ditch. Where not preserved as an upstanding monument, the dyke is visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs and elswhere often survives as a low bank beneath present field boundaries. It was constructed in the post Roman period and encloses an area in the eastern foothills of the Pennines between the two rivers. This area contained wealthy arable and pastoral land as well as some of the mineral resources of the northern Pennines. Linear earthworks were used to divide territory for military, social, economic and political purposes, often using natural features such as rivers and watersheds to define an area. Scots Dyke was built to consolidate territorial and economic units in response to changing political circumstances during the sixth and seventh centuries AD. These were brought about, at least in part, by the arrival of the Anglians in northern England. Fewer than 50 examples of linear earthworks of post Roman date have been identified in England. As a rare monument type of considerable importance to the study of early medieval territorial patterns, all surviving examples are identified as being of national importance. Although reduced by agricultural activity, this section of Scots Dyke will retain significant archeological remains and offers important information about the development of the landscape in the post Roman period.


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


The monument is a section of the linear earthwork known as Scots Dyke lying 300m south east of High Wood. It includes a ditch and low scarp slope incorporated into a field terrace, which extends north to south for 30m, and a further 150m where the dyke has been reduced by agricultural activity and, although it is no longer visible as an earthwork, can be seen as a cropmark. At the northern end the ditch is 4m wide and the bank to the west is 5m wide and up to 1.3m high. Where the monument survives as buried remains it is up to 12m wide. At the north end of the monument, the dyke cannot be identified for a further 50m but then is preserved as an earthwork where it is the subject of a separate scheduling. To the south the dyke is truncated by a road and cannot be identified for 2.3km, but then reappears as a feature identifiable on aerial photographs and is the subject of a separate scheduling.

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: 26949

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Haselgrove, C, 'Rural Settlement in the Roman North' in Indigenous settlement patterns in the Tyne-Tees lowlands, (1982)
Maclaughlan, , 'Archaeological Journal' in Roman Roads Camps and Earthworks in the North Riding, , Vol. VOL 6, (1849)

End of official listing