Section of single linear boundary dyke in Horse Dale, 550m north west of Glebe Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015565

Date first listed: 17-Dec-1929

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Apr-1997


Ordnance survey map of Section of single linear boundary dyke in Horse Dale, 550m north west of Glebe Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2018 at 13:57:59.


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

District: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Huggate

National Grid Reference: SE 87104 56314


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

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 survives as a visible earthwork feature, 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.


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


The monument includes a 1km long section of Bronze Age linear boundary bank and ditch (also known as a dyke) lying just below the break of slope along the southern edge of Horse Dale, south of Huggate Wold. 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 long section of single linear bank and ditch running approximately north east- south west between two elaborate complexes of dykes, one a kilometre further to the west along Huggate Pasture in Frendal Dale and at its junction with Tun Dale, and the other to the east at the junction of the three dry valleys of Horse Dale, Holm Dale and Harper Dale. At its eastern end, this section of bank and ditch adjoins a further double complex of linear banks and ditches leading eastward and converging upon the junction of the three dry valleys. As such, it is not a discrete monument, as neither its eastern or western ends are thought to have been original terminals, but are believed to have once formed a continuous length of boundary banks and ditches linking the eastern and western complexes described above. These dykes were used to enhance the natural topographical barriers of spurs and escarpments between valleys, with additional physical barriers of both banks and ditches. Natural conduits along the floors of dry valleys were then `blocked' by other bank and ditch systems acting 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 boundary earthworks or is one of the best preserved remnants of the original more extensive systems recorded and mapped as extending across large areas of the Wolds 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. The monument includes a low bank augmenting the break of slope along the large and steep dry valley system here. It is variable in height, and for most of its length is rarely above 1m in height and around 2m-3m wide. The presence of a pathway used by grazing sheep has probably resulted in the natural erosion of the bank to its present flattened appearance. The ditch, which is now largely infilled, lies to the south between the bank and the fence lying along the top of the slope, and is about 2m wide. Modern post and wire fencing separating the monument from arable farmland to the south east and pasture to the north west is excluded from the scheduling as are animal feed and water troughs, 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: 26580

Legacy System: RSM


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)

End of official listing