Sections of single and multiple linear boundary dykes on Huggate Pasture and Frendal Dale


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015560

Date first listed: 17-Dec-1929

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Apr-1997


Ordnance survey map of Sections of single and multiple linear boundary dykes on Huggate Pasture and Frendal Dale
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1015560 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 17-Feb-2019 at 12:14:07.


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

District: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Huggate

District: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Millington

National Grid Reference: SE 85774 55899

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 monument is part of a very extensive and important system of linear boundary dykes in this area of the Yorkshire Wolds, dating back to the Bronze Age. It is very well preserved, and is considered to be a particularly fine example of an elaborate complex of multiple banks and ditches. As such it offers important insights into ancient land use and territorial divisions for social, ritual and agricultural purposes in this region.


The monument includes sections of single and multiple Bronze Age linear boundary banks and ditches (also known as dykes) running from the north of Huggate Pasture, south west along Frendal Dale towards Pasture Dale and Huggate Sheepwalk. Lying close to an ancient trackway on the western side of the Wolds, the surviving part of which forms the present-day Wolds Way, the monument is part of a particularly elaborate complex of multiple dykes on Huggate Pasture, single components of which run either along the top of the escarpment, or part the way down the sides of the intervening dry valley systems of Frendal Dale and Tun Dale, in the direction of Pasture Dale, Millington Dale and Cow Moor, linking up with the system of boundary dykes in those areas. These dykes were used to enhance the natural topographical barriers of spurs and escarpments between valleys, with additional physical barriers of banks and ditches. Natural conduits along the floors of dry valleys were then `blocked' by other bank and ditch systems to control access. Well preserved sections of these linear boundaries are the subject of separate schedulings, and in some cases, adjacent monuments may physically touch. This elaborate complex of Wolds boundary earthworks is probably one of the best preserved remnants of the original more extensive systems recorded and mapped by early antiquarians such as J R Mortimer in the 19th century. Excavations and observation of spatial relationships with other earthworks of known date demonstrate this Wolds complex of earthworks to have originated in the later Bronze Age, with several subsequent phases of elaboration and augmentation. The monument also forms part of a broadly related and extensive complex of multi-period prehistoric earthworks, including bowl barrows, barrow cemeteries, linear bank and ditch systems, trackways and enclosures dispersed across Huggate and Warter Wolds, Huggate and Millington Pastures. At its most northerly end, the monument includes a 600m long section of single bank and ditch which runs along the northern side of Huggate Pasture, and which at its western end is parallel with another 200m long complex of four parallel banks and three intervening ditches running immediately to the south. At this point, the overall complex is five banks wide in total. This northerly section of bank and ditch is up to a total of 8m wide, with the bank lying to the south of the ditch. At its eastern end it forms an original terminus and junction with the section of linear bank and ditch running due north west along York Lane, which is the subject of a separate scheduling. The junction of the two systems has been cut by a later trackway, still in use, which prevents a proper understanding of the relationship between the two monuments at this point. At this eastern end, the bank is up to 3m wide and is upstanding to a height of around a 1m, while the ditch is between 1m and 1.5m deep, and `U' shaped in profile, measuring approximately 1.5m-2m at its base, and between 4m and 5m at its top. Further westwards, the trackway overlies the bank, and has considerably flattened it through the course of time, so that it is level with the top of the ditch. It is 3m wide here, whilst the ditch to the north is 5m wise at its top and 2m wide at its base, still retaining a `U' shaped profile. The 200m long triple ditch - quadruple bank section of the monument at the western end by the head of Frendal Dale is up to 40m wide, and each bank component is between 2.5m and 4m wide at its base, and 1m-1.25m broad across its top, whilst the height is between 1m and 1.5m maximum. The ditches are `U' shaped and vary between 2m and 3.5m in width at their base. Half way along the length of this multiple section is a break in the system about 4m-5m wide, affording an `entrance', where the banks and ditches are cut by a causeway, which is later in date and probably of the medieval period. Here the banks reach heights of up to 1.5m, whilst the intervening ditches reach their broadest width of up to 3.5m. The easternmost end of this triple ditch - quadruple bank complex is cut by the modern fenceline and a trackway leading south, towards fields in Huggate Pasture. Here aerial photography provides clear evidence that this is not an original terminus of the system, as a continuation of this complex eastwards in the direction of Horse Dale, at least as far as York Lane, can be observed in crop and soil marks, although this section of the monument has been levelled by agricultural activity over the course of the years. This section of the earthwork is included in the scheduling because of the rarity, importance and inter-relationship of the multiple section of banks and ditches, and as archaeological deposits will still survive in the buried ditches. Along the southern line, the last bank dips down the hillslope slightly before rising gradually to meet the line of fields on Huggate Pasture. This bank continues on to become the top one of two long single sections of bank and ditch leading south west along Frendal Dale. This is the one running south west along the top of the scarp; the second lies mid way down the side of the dry valley of Frendal Dale. This first bank runs nearly the length of Frendal Dale along the top of the escarpment here, and varies between 0.5m and 1.5m in height, being approximately 4m wide at its base, and 1m wide across its top. The `U' shaped ditch lies to the east, between the top of the escarpment and the bank, and is about 2m-2.5m wide. The bank and ditch together are about 1100m long overall, but become far less clearly defined at the southernmost end, finally disappearing altogether. It is unlikely that this end of the monument represents an original terminus however. The system is partly discontinuous throughout its length, livestock having cut channels at different places, and it is also broken at one point by a later causeway giving access to a field gate, and again where it is joined by another branch of the bank and ditch system which falls away to the west into the bottom of Frendal Dale. The second single dyke component which lies half way down the dry valley side is much slighter than the first, and far less clearly defined, with average heights of around 0.5m, and around 3m wide at base. It leads off from a central bank of the quadruple bank complex and follows the line of the dry valley nearly due south, before it too, intersects with the arm of the short bank dropping down into Frendal Dale close to its junction with the first, top bank and ditch. This short arm, about 200m in length, is composed of another section of bank and ditch, the bank being 1m-1.25m high and up to 4m broad at base, which intersects with the main section of bank and ditch along the escarpment top. Its shallow, nearly infilled ditch lies to the south of the bank. Adjacent sections of the dyke lying along the north western side of Frendal Dale and leading off into Tun Dale are the subject of separate schedulings. Modern post and wire fencing and animal feed and water dispensers are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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: 26574

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), 365-380
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), 365-380
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), 365-80
Dent, J, 'Archaeological Journal' in The Yorkshire Dykes, (1984), 32-33
Dent, J, 'Archaeological Journal' in The Yorkshire Dykes, (1984), 32-33
Halkon, P, 'Prehistory Research Section Bulletin' in The Huggate Dykes, , Vol. 30, (1993), 10
Manby, T, 'Current Archaeology' in The Yorkshire Dykes, , Vol. 67, (1979), 233
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)

End of official listing