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Section of a single and double linear boundary dyke in Horse Dale, and the junctions of Holm Dale and Harper Dale, north west of Northfield Farm

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Section of a single and double linear boundary dyke in Horse Dale, and the junctions of Holm Dale and Harper Dale, north west of Northfield Farm

List entry Number: 1015566

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: East Riding of Yorkshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Huggate

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 17-Dec-1929

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Apr-1997

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 26581

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 is well preserved and one of the rare surviving examples of double bank and ditch complexes, directly linking to 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.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a 1.7km long section of Bronze Age single and double linear boundary bank and ditch (also known as a dyke) running just below the break of slope along the southern edge of Horse Dale, and part of Harper Dale, leading down into a section of multiple banks at the junction of the three dry valleys of Horse, Holm and Harper Dales. 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 forms a long section of linear banks and ditches running approximately north east- south west, linking the elaborate complex of dykes at the junction of Holm, Horse and Harper Dales, with other complexes further to the west along Huggate Pasture in Frendal Dale and its junction with Tun Dale, and further to the east along Harper Dale towards Middleham Plantation. 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 acting to control access, as is the case with this system, as it drops down into the bottom of Harper Dale, and links with the opposing system of dykes on the northern side of Harper Dale, and in Holm Dale. 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 boundary earthworks 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, and Huggate and Millington Pastures. At its western end, a 300m long section of single bank and ditch adjoins a further single linear bank and ditch system leading westward along the southern edge of Horse Dale, eventually joining up with the western complex in Frendal Dale. The single bank and ditch lies around 50m below the break in slope and is rarely above a metre in height, and is between 2m-3m wide. Its ditch, now largely infilled, lies to the south east. The bank and ditch together curve from the south in an original junction to link with the bank of the adjacent section, which is the subject of a separate scheduling. The 300m long single bank adjoins the second, lower section of the double bank system to the east, which then continues for much of its length as two parallel sets of banks and ditches, the first lying just below the break of slope following the southern edge of Horse Dale eastwards, the second lying between 30m and 50m below the break in slope, and an average of 20m-30m below the first bank. They separate into two distinctly forked systems just before the confluence of the three dry valleys, with one still keeping the edge of slope, and the other plunging down the side of the dry valley into the actual base at the junction of the three valleys, where it forms an original junction with two further, short sections of bank lying to the east along the side and towards the base of the head of Harper Dale. In addition, it also links up with the opposing system on the northern side of the head of Harper Dale which leads north into Holm Dale, and is also the subject of separate schedulings. As such, this section is not a discrete monument, as neither its eastern or western ends are thought to have been original termini, but are believed to have once formed a continuous length of boundary banks and ditches linking the eastern and western complexes described above. Adjacent and related sections of dyke are the subject of separate schedulings. The first, upper bank of the double section which follows the break in slope is variable in height, ranging from between 1m-1.5m in height and around 3m-4m wide at base. Its ditch lies to the south, between the bank and the slope break, and is shallow, nearly infilled, and `U' shaped, being around 2m wide. The second bank, lying between 30m and 50m lower down the valley side, is lower than the first in places, being around 0.75m-1m high and 2m-3m wide, and its shallow, `U' shaped ditch, around 2m wide, lies between it and the first bank. Neither first nor second banks are wholly continuous, but are either `broken' in places, or else reduced in height and therefore difficult to see, although on the whole their preservation is good. Where the second bank drops into the confluence of the three dry valleys, and adjoins two further short sections of bank to the east, these banks are less well preserved and less clear, being around 0.5m in height and 2m wide, with no clear ditch. They fade out 350m to the east and become invisible. Modern post and wire fencing, animal feed and water dispensers and other modern farm constructions and equipment 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.

Selected Sources

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
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, (1993), 10
Halkon, P, 'Prehistory Research Section Bulletin' in The Huggate Dykes, (1993), 10
Manby, T, 'Current Archaeology' in The Yorkshire Dykes, , Vol. 67, (1979), 233
Other
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)

National Grid Reference: SE 88155 56966

Map

Map
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End of official listing