Section of the Scots Dyke linear boundary 225m south of St Martin's Priory


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018143

Date first listed: 29-Apr-1998


Ordnance survey map of Section of the Scots Dyke linear boundary 225m south of St Martin's Priory
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 17:44:26.


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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Richmondshire (District Authority)

Parish: St. Martin's

National Grid Reference: NZ 17777 00530


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

Reasons for Designation

Scots Dyke is a linear earthwork extending for 14km from the River Tees to south of the River Swale in north Yorkshire. Significant sections remain visible as upstanding earthworks and indicate that the dyke system had an earthen rampart flanked on the eastern side by a ditch. Where it does not survive as an upstanding monument, the dyke is visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs and elsewhere often survives as a low bank beneath present field boundaries. It was constructed in the post-Roman period and encloses an area in the eastern foothills of the Pennines between the two rivers. This area contained wealthy arable and pastoral land as well as some of the mineral resources of the northern Pennines. Linear earthworks divide territory for military, social, economic and political purposes, often using natural features such as rivers or watersheds to define an area. Scots Dyke was built to consoldate territorial and economic units as a response to changing political circumstances during the 6th and 7th centuries AD. These were brought about, at least in part, by the arrival of the Anglians in northern England. Fewer than 50 examples of linear earthworks of post-Roman date have been identified in England. As a rare monument type of considerable importance to the study of early medieval territorial patterns, all surviving examples are identified as being of national importance. This section of Scots Dyke survives well and will contain important information about the development of the landscape in the post-Roman period.


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


The monument includes a section of the linear earthwork known as Scots Dyke which extends from the River Tees to south of the River Swale. This section, 225m south of St Martin's Priory, consists of a bank and flanking ditch extending for a total of 80m south west from the junction of Scots Dyke Terrace and is located on the high ground overlooking the River Swale. The dyke comprises an earthern bank up to 0.75m high and 5m wide with the ditch lying to the south. The ditch has been partly infilled and, where it survives as an earthwork, is 3m wide and 0.25m deep. The north side of the bank has been disturbed by modern road construction and the full width of the bank is currently unknown. To the north of this section the dyke has been levelled by modern road and house construction, and is not included in the scheduling. However, the section of the dyke 150m beyond this is the subject of a separate scheduling.

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: 29543

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Maclaughlan, , 'Archaeological Journal' in Roman Roads Camps and Earthworks in the North Riding, , Vol. VOL 6, (1849)
RCHME, Field Survey, (1974)
Thubron, S, (1997)

End of official listing