Fall Rigg cross dyke and round barrow, 710m north of Sycamore Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018599

Date first listed: 18-Jun-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Dec-1998


Ordnance survey map of Fall Rigg cross dyke and round barrow, 710m north of Sycamore Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1018599 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 13:25:22.


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 75820 90170


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.

Fall Rigg cross dyke is a well preserved earthwork example of a Bronze Age boundary feature. The bank will overlie and preserve prehistoric soil layers and the ditch will contain a series of infilled sediments which will provide valuable information about the local environment in the Bronze Age. Its importance is enhanced by the adjacent round barrow. Such barrows functioned primarily as burial mounds, but also acted as boundary markers, sometimes to be replaced by linear earthworks such as Fall Rigg cross dyke. Round barrows are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, covering single or multiple burials. They occur in isolation or grouped into cemeteries and often acted as a focus for later burials. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and burial practices. Often occupying prominent positions, their variation in form and longevity as a monument type provide important information about the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of the surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a prehistoric boundary, known as a cross dyke, together with a prehistoric burial mound. The dyke crosses a low ridge which runs parallel to and at the foot of the main northern scarp of the Tabular Hills. The burial mound is a small round barrow which lies to 14m to the west of the centre of the dyke. Further barrows have been reported along the ridge to the east of the dyke. The cross dyke is formed by a 5m wide bank standing up to 1m above the base of the immediately adjacent 3m wide ditch. This ditch lies on the east side of the bank and is up to 0.5m deep. The dyke runs north-south over the ridge of Fall Rigg, with its southern end lying at a break of slope just above the base of a normally dry valley uphill from Lady Keld Spring. The dyke's northern end is just short of the south side of the deeply incised gully for Sutherland Beck. Both ends are quite well defined. The dyke nearly forms a straight line north to south, but its centre is slightly kinked westwards so that it is formed by two straight sections that meet at the highest point of the ridge. The point at which the northern and southern sections of the dyke meet is marked by a narrow causeway through the dyke, which is considered to be an original feature, and lies opposite the adjacent round barrow to the west. This round barrow survives as a 10m diameter mound standing 1.5m high with a small central depression. There are two further breaks in the dyke at its north end and one through the southern half of the dyke.

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: 30151

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing