Section of the Cleave Dyke system known as the Kepwick Dyke on Arden Little Moor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013591

Date first listed: 11-May-1995


Ordnance survey map of Section of the Cleave Dyke system known as the Kepwick Dyke on Arden Little Moor
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Dec-2018 at 15:25:39.


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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Hambleton (District Authority)

Parish: Kepwick

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Hawnby


National Grid Reference: SE 49460 90697


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

Reasons for Designation

The Cleave Dyke system is the most westerly of a series of dyke systems on the Tabular Hills of north east Yorkshire. The name has been given to a series of linear ditches and banks stretching north-south over 9km parallel with and close to the western scarp of the Hambleton Hills. The system was constructed between the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age to augment the natural division of the terrain by river valleys and watersheds. Significant stretches remain visible as upstanding earthworks; elsewhere it can be recognised as a cropmark on aerial photographs. The system formed a prehistoric territorial boundary in an area largely given over to pastoralism; the impressive scale of the earthworks displays the corporate prestige of their builders. In some instances the boundaries have remained in use to the present day. Linear boundaries are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and land use in the later prehistoric period; all well preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.

This section of the Cleave Dyke system is preserved as a prominent earthwork for most of its length, forming a very clear division across the landscape. It is the mostly northerly known section of the Cleave Dyke system. At the west end it is associated with a group of Bronze Age round barrows. These are burial mounds with a ritual and social function, which also acted as territorial markers. Such groupings of monuments offer important scope for the study of the division of land for social, ritual and agricultural purposes in different geographical areas during the prehistoric period.


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


The monument includes a section of the prehistoric linear boundary system on the Hambleton Hills, known as the Cleave Dyke. The monument extends for c.1300m westwards from a gill at the head of Thorodale to terminate by a group of barrows on the western edge of Arden Little Moor. There is an offshoot extending for 210m to the south which terminates at a modern quarry and trackway. The dyke continues as an earthwork some 20m to the south beyond this disturbance but this section is the subject of a separate scheduling. The dyke comprises a prominent bank with a flanking ditch lying on the south side of the main east-west bank and on the east side of the south offshoot. The bank is 3.5m wide and stands 0.5m high and the ditch is 3.5m wide and 0.6m deep. There are a number of circular pits, 3.5m in diameter cut into the base of the ditch, each up to 1.5m deep. This dyke is part of a wider system of earthworks continuing for 9km north- south along the western edge of the Hambleton Hills. Shorter east-west boundaries linked valley heads to the main dyke and thus divided the terrain into discrete units for agricultural and social purposes. The dyke is associated with earlier round barrows which also marked the division of land. Together the monuments on this part of the Hambleton Hills provide important evidence of territorial organisation and the development of settled agricultural practices. There is a field wall and a gravel road crossing the monument. The surface of the road and the wall are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included.

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: 25595

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Spratt, D A , 'The Archaeological Journal' in The Cleave Dyke System, , Vol. VOL 54, (1982), 33-52
ANY 70/27:34 ANY 71/1,

End of official listing