Northern of two cross dykes on Castleton Rigg, 600m north west of Stormy Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018771

Date first listed: 25-Oct-1968

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Jan-1999


Ordnance survey map of Northern of two cross dykes on Castleton Rigg, 600m north west of Stormy Hall
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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: Danby

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough (District Authority)

Parish: Westerdale


National Grid Reference: NZ 68318 04737, NZ 68411 04715


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 northern of the two cross dykes on Castleton Rigg 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 survival of a second cross dyke, High Stone Dike, 750m to the south.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a prehistoric boundary, a cross dyke, which runs across the spine of Castleton Rigg. It is in two areas of protection. A second cross dyke, High Stone Dike which is the subject of a separate scheduling, lies 750m to the south. The cross dyke is just uphill and south of the lowest point of a saddle across the rigg, and is sited on sloping ground.

The dyke is formed by a bank and ditch which runs in a broadly straight line ESE to WNW with a slight curve to point due west at its western end. The bank is not symmetrical in cross section, but is steeper on the side facing the ditch which lies on the uphill, southern side of the bank. The eastern end of the dyke has been truncated by a quarry and cut through by the road which runs up the spine of the rigg. The section of dyke that survives to the east of the road is 9m long. It has a 5m wide bank which stands 1m above the base of a 2m wide, 0.8m deep ditch. To the west of the road the dyke continues, cut through in places by old trackways until about 15m west of the road which runs down into Westerdale. Here there is an approximately 20m wide gap in the bank and ditch which is considered to be an original feature. This area, including the part under the road, is considered to be archaeologically sensitive and is thus included in the scheduling. Beyond the road the bank and ditch resumes as a bank typically 5m-6m wide standing 1.3m above the base of a 4m wide, 1m deep ditch. At its western end, where the dyke curves westwards, the bank and ditch fade out into a slight terrace in the hillside which in turn fades out.

Excluded from the scheduling is the surface of the road that runs across the western part of the dyke, although the ground beneath 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: 30199

Legacy System: RSM


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