Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary and portion of field system 100m east of Whitefields Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013777

Date first listed: 16-Nov-1965

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Jan-1996

Map

Ordnance survey map of Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary and portion of field system 100m east of Whitefields Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Richmondshire (District Authority)

Parish: Easby

County: North Yorkshire

District: Richmondshire (District Authority)

Parish: Richmond

National Grid Reference: NZ 18578 01243

Summary

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. Elsewhere the dyke often survives as a low bank beneath present field boundaries. Where not preserved as an upstanding monument, the dyke is visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs. It was constructed in the post Roman period and encloses an area in the eastern foothills of the Pennines between the Swale and Tees. 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 during the sixth and seventh centuries AD, in response to political changes 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. This monument includes a well preserved section of bank and ditch and the remains of an original entranceway. Significant archaeological remains will be preserved which offer important evidence for the study of form and function of the dyke and its relationship with the wider landscape. Further archaeological remains will be preserved beneath the ridge and furrow field system which in turn provides a context for the dyke and is important for understanding the role of the dyke as a late medieval boundary feature.

History

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

Details

The monument includes two sections of the linear earthwork known as Scots Dyke, an original entranceway through the Dyke and a section of ridge and furrow field system lying to the east of Whitefields Farm. The dyke includes a bank, ditch and, in places, a counterscarp bank. The northern section of the dyke extends for 360m south from the Darlington road and includes a bank up to 20m wide with a ditch to the east 5m wide and a shallow counterscarp bank up to 5m wide. There is a gap of 80m in the earthworks, which includes both the entranceway and the terminus of the northern section of dyke. Although this end of the earthwork has been reduced by agricultural activity, archaeological remains are preserved as buried features. To the south of the entranceway the bank is 30m wide and 4.5m high. There is a level platform 10m across, sunk 2m into the crest of the bank, lying 25m south of the terminus. The bank reduces in size to the south and after 150m the dyke is 10m wide and 2m high. The ditch lying to the east of the bank is partially infilled but can still be identified as a shallow depression. To the west of the dyke, the headland and eastern end of a ridge and furrow field system is preserved, and is included in the scheduling. All modern fences, gates and walls 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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 26957

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
McDonald, D A, Description and consideration of Scots Dyke, (1984)
RCHME, , Scots Dyke, (1874)
Maclaughlan, , 'Archaeological Journal' in Roman Roads Camps and Earthworks in the North Riding, , Vol. VOL 6, (1849)

End of official listing