Length of linear earthwork, part of the Aberford Dyke system, at Green Hill between Aberford and the Aberford By-pass


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016952

Date first listed: 27-Sep-1949

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Jun-2001


Ordnance survey map of Length of linear earthwork, part of the Aberford Dyke system, at Green Hill between Aberford and the Aberford By-pass
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Dec-2018 at 12:47:49.


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

District: Leeds (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Aberford

National Grid Reference: SE 43499 37685


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

Reasons for Designation

The Aberford Dykes are substantial linear earthworks situated in North and West Yorkshire, east of Leeds. They lie north and south of Cock Beck with the modern village of Aberford at their approximate centre. They are visible as rock-cut ditches and banks. Most of the earthworks run approximately east-west. The ditch is on the south side of the bank and some parts of the earthworks have an additional counterscarp bank on the same side. The earthworks north of Cock Beck (including sections known as The Ridge, Becca Banks and the earthwork at Field Lane) mostly occupy commanding positions at the top of the scarp and may once have formed a single boundary. The earthworks south of Cock Beck include the South Dyke which occupies the top of the scarp above the beck and, crossing it, Woodhouse Moor Rein, running north east-south west along a low rounded ridge. The Aberford Dykes have been identified as defences of the British kingdom of Elmet against the Anglo-Saxons in the late sixth and early seventh centuries, or as boundaries to defend the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Deira against the Mercians in the seventh century AD. They have also been interpreted as dykes built to defend the territories of the Brigantes against the advance of the Roman Empire in the first century AD. There is no documentary evidence for the date of the Dykes, however, and firm archaeological dating evidence is sparse. They may not all belong to one period but relate to a number of different events. The style of construction has parallels in both the Roman and the early post-Roman periods. Excavation at Field Lane retrieved Roman period pottery from deposits associated with the silting up of the ditch. It is therefore likely that, here at least, the ditch was open during the Roman period. The size and extent of the Aberford Dykes imply a considerable expenditure of time and labour, suggesting a degree of social organisation at the time of their construction and a strong concern for territorial control, whether military, organisational or symbolic. All known lengths of the Aberford Dykes where significant archaeological deposits are likely to survive are considered to be nationally important.

The length of linear earthwork, part of the Aberford Dyke system, at Green Hill between Aberford and the Aberford By-pass survives well, and will preserve significant archaeological information on the Roman and post-Roman periods.


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


The monument includes a length of the linear earthworks at Green Hill, which is part of the Aberford Dyke system. It runs NNE from Sydenham House in Aberford, along Field Lane to the A1 Aberford By-pass. In the southern part of this length the bank runs along the top of a steep scarp on the east side of Field Lane. The ditch at this point is obscured by a track at the base of the scarp, and is not visible as a surface feature. North of this, a substantial bank up to 2.5m high is visible in the grounds of Glebe Bungalow. The ditch is also visible at this point and is 9m wide and 0.4m deep. After a break at a gate, the bank continues northwards to the Aberford By-pass, with Field Lane now on the crest of the bank. The level of the bank has been built up, close to the Aberford By-pass, to bring the level of Field Lane up to that of the road. Although the ditch does not survive as a surface feature for much of this length of earthwork, excavation has shown that it does survive as a buried feature between 1m-2m deep. The revetment wall at the base of the scarp at the allotments north of Sydenham House is included in the scheduling. All fences, walls (apart from the revetment wall), buildings and garden fixtures are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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: 31517

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
WYAS, , A1-M1 Link Road, (1997)

End of official listing