Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary east of Langdale Rush


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014240

Date first listed: 01-Apr-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Nov-1995


Ordnance survey map of Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary east of Langdale Rush
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 10-Dec-2018 at 22:28:13.


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 19722 09392


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. This section of Scots Dyke is well preserved and significant archaeological remains will be preserved within and beneath the monument.


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


The monument is a section of linear earthwork known as Scots Dyke lying to the east of Langdale Rush plantation. The dyke includes a bank and flanking ditch extending for 150m north to south. The bank is 6m wide and 1m high with the ditch lying to the east. The ditch has been infilled by agricultural activity and is visible as a faint hollow 1m wide flanking the bank. At the northern end the line of the dyke continues as the embankment containing Stanwick Hall Reservoir. The dyke continues as an earthwork 250m to the north east where it is the subject of a separate scheduling. To the south the dyke cannot be identified for 50m but then is visible as an earthwork again and is the subject of a separate scheduling. All modern fences and gates 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: 26948

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
McDonald, D A, Description and consideration of Scots Dyke, (1984)
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