Length of Grim's Ditch immediately north of Gamblethorpe

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018791

Date first listed: 02-Jul-1999

Map

Ordnance survey map of Length of Grim's Ditch immediately north of Gamblethorpe
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Oct-2018 at 01:19:20.

Location

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

District: Leeds (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Swillington

National Grid Reference: SE 37489 30512

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

The West Yorkshire Grim's Ditch is a linear earthwork consisting of a substantial bank with a deep, rock-cut ditch on its east side. It lies to the east of Leeds, and the known remains extend northwards for approximately 3.5 km, from just north of the River Aire at Gamblethorpe Farm, Swillington, to Cock Beck on Whinmoor. Less definite evidence suggests that the earthwork survives further south to the River Aire, and north beyond Cock Beck. Grim's Ditch still survives in several places as a visible earthwork. The most likely context for the construction of Grim's Ditch has always been thought to be as a defence for the British kingdom of Elmet, and in particular its major centre, Leeds, against the advance of the Anglo-Saxons in the early 7th century AD. However, preliminary results from excavations of a section of Grim's Ditch at Colton suggest that the ditch was open during the Roman period. Both the bank and ditch can be seen for most of a 1.8 km stretch, extending from the A1-M1 link road at the south edge of Avenue Wood, Temple Newsam, to the A63 at Colton. Lengths of ditch are also visible at Gamblethorpe Farm, and at the base of a scarp south of Barrowby Road, Austhorpe. The remaining known course of Grim's Ditch is not a visible earthwork, but it has been located by means of excavation and geophysical survey. The size and extent of Grim's Ditch implies a considerable expenditure of time and labour, and also suggests a degree of social organisation at the time of its construction. All known lengths of Grim's Ditch, where significant archaeological deposits are likely to survive are considered to be nationally important.

The length of Grim's Ditch immediately north of Gamblethorpe Farm survives well and will preserve significant archaeological information.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a length of the linear earthwork known as Grim's Ditch, immediately north of Gamblethorpe Farm. The visible remains consist of a substantial ditch 90m long, approximately 13m wide and up to 1.5m deep. Along the west side a flattened bank is visible as a broad crest approximately 12m wide. This is most easily observed where a hedge rises over the bank at the north end of the monument.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 31510

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing