Section of single linear boundary dyke in Great Plantation, Greenwick Dale, 250m east of East Greenwick Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Section of single linear boundary dyke in Great Plantation, Greenwick Dale, 250m east of East Greenwick Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 85530 56703

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 a well preserved section, and is closely associated with other adjacent complexes of linear banks and ditches, which together form an integral system of boundary and defensive earthworks in this region. As such it offers important insights into ancient land use and territorial divisions for social, ritual and agricultural purposes in this area of the Yorkshire Wolds.


The monument includes a 170m long section of Bronze Age linear boundary bank and ditch (also known as a dyke) running south west along the north eastern end of Greenwick Dale, 250m east of East Greenwick Farm and 150m south of Waterman Hole and York Lane. 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 a relatively short section of what was once an elaborate complex of boundary dykes between Millington and Huggate Wolds and Huggate Pasture, single components of which run either along the top of the escarpment, or part of the way down the sides of the intervening dry valley systems of Frendal Dale and Tun Dale, south towards Millington Wold and Millington Lings, 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 abut. This elaborate complex of Wolds boundary earthworks is one of the best preserved remnants of the original more extensive system 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 and Huggate and Millington Pastures. This section of linear bank and ditch is not a discrete monument, as neither its western nor eastern ends are thought to be original termini, but are thought to have once formed a continuous length of boundary banks and ditches with other adjacent monuments in the area. As such, its original junction with the section of linear bank and ditch in Farclose Plantation is now no longer visible above ground. The same is the case for a long section of bank and ditch to the south west, connecting the monument with the section lying in Stable Plantation, at the junction of Tun Dale and Greenwick Dale, which is no longer identifiable above ground. Along its southern section, the bank is between 1m and 1.5m in height and 3m- 4m wide, and the ditch, which lies on the north western side of the bank, is `U' shaped and 2m wide at its base. Half way along the length of the monument going north, a woodland path merges with the line of the monument, obscuring the bank for a short section before assuming the course of the ditch, which is deeper and over 3m wide at this point, and is believed to have been reused as a hollow way during a later period. From this point, the bank becomes 1.5m-2m in overall height and 2m wide towards its top. Along its south eastern junction with the side of the dry valley here, the bank merges into the contour of the rising ground. The monument dwindles and disappears around 100m short of where its original junction with the linear earthwork in Farclose Plantation was believed to be. Modern post and wire fencing is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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.

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Books and journals
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), 365-380
Dent, J, 'Archaeological Journal' in The Yorkshire Dykes, , Vol. 141, (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)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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