Nutholm cross dyke, 100m south of Appleton Mill Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018596

Date first listed: 21-Jan-1999


Ordnance survey map of Nutholm cross dyke, 100m south of Appleton Mill Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 09-Dec-2018 at 22:50:39.


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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Cropton


National Grid Reference: SE 74638 87747


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.

The full extent of Nutholm cross dyke is considered to survive in earthwork form and is thus a very well preserved example.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a cross dyke, a prehistoric boundary, located 180m ESE of Nutholm Wrath, a ford across the River Seven. The cross dyke is formed by a bank and ditch which runs for 100m NNE to SSW across a steep sided WNW pointing hill spur above the flood plain of the River Seven. The bank is immediately adjacent to the ditch so that it forms its western, downhill side. As a result, the profile of the bank is not symmetrical so that its eastern side is steeper than its western side. The ditch is 7m wide and typically 1m deep, with the bank rising up to 1.2m from the base of the ditch. The whole earthwork is 11m wide. The northern end of the cross dyke ends at the sheer cliff above the river. The southern end peters out just beyond a steepening of the downhill slope. Both ends are considered to be original features. Across the centre of the cross dyke there is a causeway which is also considered to be an original feature of the earthwork. The causeway is now used by a public bridleway which runs down the spine of the ridge to the ford. From this causeway a footpath runs southwards along the bottom of the cross dyke's ditch.

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: 30155

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Spratt, D A, Linear Earthworks of the Tabular Hills: North East Yorkshire, (1989), 24

End of official listing