High Stone Dike, southern of two cross dykes on Castleton Rigg

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018770

Date first listed: 04-Feb-1999

Map

Ordnance survey map of High Stone Dike, southern of two cross dykes on Castleton Rigg
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Location

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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: Danby

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: Westerdale

National Park: NORTH YORK MOORS

National Grid Reference: NZ 68207 03985

Summary

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.

High Stone Dike is a relatively 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 survival of a second cross dyke 750m to the north.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a prehistoric boundary, a cross dyke, which runs across the spine of Castleton Rigg. A second cross dyke, which is the subject of a separate scheduling, lies 750m to the north. The cross dyke is formed by a 4m wide bank standing up to 1m high, with an adjacent 4m wide and up to 0.3m deep ditch running along its south side. The bank is not symmetrical in cross section, being steeper on the side facing the ditch. The dyke runs in a straight line approximately east to west over fairly level ground, and ends to the west at the top of the steep scarp down into Westerdale, forming a right angle to the scarp. The eastern end of the dyke has been truncated by quarrying and the modern road that runs up the spine of the rigg.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 30198

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Harding, A F, Ostoja-Zagorski, J, 'Archaeological Journal' in Prehistoric and Early Medieval Activity on Danby Rigg, N Yorks, , Vol. 151, (1994), 73-82
Vyner, B E, 'CBA Research Report 101: Moorland Monuments' in The Brides Of Place: Cross-Ridge Boundaries Reviewed, (1995), 16-30

End of official listing