Prehistoric linear boundary in Craddlegrip Wood, 900m north west of High Yedmandale


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017165

Date first listed: 09-May-2001


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric linear boundary in Craddlegrip Wood, 900m north west of High Yedmandale
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: West Ayton


National Grid Reference: SE 96523 87394


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 Tabular Hills in the Wykeham Forest area contain a dense concentration of prehistoric monuments, dating from the Neolithic to the Iron Age, which includes field systems, enclosures and land boundaries as well as both round and square barrows. The spatial and chronological relationships between the round and square barrows in this area, and between both types of barrow and other prehistoric monuments, are of considerable importance for understanding the development of later prehistoric society in eastern Yorkshire. Despite limited disturbance, the section of linear boundary in Craddlegrip Wood survives well. Important environmental evidence which can be used to date the boundary 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 banks. The linear boundary belongs to a network of prehistoric boundaries, dividing the area between Troutsdale in the west and the Derwent valley in the east. It is thought to represent a system of territorial land division which was constructed to augment natural divisions of the landscape by river valleys and watersheds and it is one of many such groups found on the Tabular Hills. Networks such as these offer important scope for the study of land use 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 part of a linear boundary situated towards the northern edge of the Tabular Hills. The surviving part of the boundary is about 130m long and runs to the ENE from the top of the west-facing slope into Yedman Dale, turning slightly more to the east at the eastern end. It has a ditch which runs between two banks, constructed from earth and stone. Originally the boundary would have had an overall width of up to 16m, but the northern bank has largely been ploughed level so that now the width of the upstanding earthworks is no more than 11m. The ditch is up to 6.5m wide and 1.5m deep, measured from the top of the banks. The southern bank stands up to 1m high and the edge of the northern bank stands up to 0.5m high. The monument forms part of a network of prehistoric linear boundaries surrounded by a dense concentration of other prehistoric monuments, including burials and settlement sites. All fence posts 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.


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

Legacy System number: 33735

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Spratt, D A, Linear Earthworks of the Tabular Hills: North East Yorkshire, (1989), 54-59

End of official listing