Cross dyke on Gerrick Moor, 690m north west of Black Beck Swang


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016992

Date first listed: 19-Mar-1999


Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke on Gerrick Moor, 690m north west of Black Beck Swang
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Redcar and Cleveland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Lockwood


National Grid Reference: NZ 70328 11403


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

Reasons for Designation

Cross dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.2km and 1km long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to one or more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across ridges and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on aerial photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation and analogy with associated monuments demonstrates that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used later. Current information favours the view that they were used as territorial boundary markers, probably demarcating land allotment within communities, although they may also have been used as trackways, cattle droveways or defensive earthworks. Cross dykes are one of the few monument types which illustrate how land was divided up in the prehistoric period. They are of considerable importance for any analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age. Very few have survived to the present day and hence all well- preserved examples are considered to be of national importance.

Despite World War II military disturbance, the cross dyke on Gerrick Moor has survived well. Important environmental evidence which can be used to date the cross dyke and determine contemporary land use will be preserved within the lowest ditch fills. Evidence for earlier land use will be preserved in the old ground surface beneath the bank. The cross dyke is one of several in the north part of the North York Moors which are associated with other prehistoric monuments, including barrows and field systems, and are thought to represent territorial boundaries. Similar groups of cross dykes are known in the west and south east areas of the North York Moors. Such groupings offer important scope for the study of land division for social, ritual and agricultural purposes during the prehistoric period.


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


The monument includes a cross dyke which runs across a ridge on the north edge of the North York Moors. It is 280m long and runs north west to south east between two stream heads, defining a promontory on the ridge to the north. The cross dyke has a ditch with a wide `V'-shaped profile which is up to 3m wide and 1m deep. On the north side of the ditch there is a bank up to 4m wide and 0.7m high which was constructed from material excavated from the ditch. The cross dyke lies in an area rich in prehistoric remains, particularly funerary monuments. There are four breaks in the cross dyke and numerous tank tracks in the base of the ditch caused by military activity during World War II. Passing through two of the breaks there are trackways running in a north to south direction, one of which is a public bridleway. At the north west end, a ditch has been cut through the cross dyke to divert water northwards from Gerrick Spring. The cross dyke lies in an area rich in prehistoric monuments, including round barrows, field systems and clearance cairns.

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: 32000

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. 87, (1993)
Vyner, B E, 'CBA Research Report 101: Moorland Monuments' in The Brides Of Place: Cross-Ridge Boundaries Reviewed, , Vol. 101, (1995)

End of official listing