Linear dyke known as Double Dikes, in Waterloo Plantation


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019346

Date first listed: 22-Jan-1969

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Oct-2000


Ordnance survey map of Linear dyke known as Double Dikes, in Waterloo Plantation
© 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: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Sproxton


National Grid Reference: SE 58412 81558


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

Reasons for Designation

The Cleave Dyke system is the most westerly of a series of dyke systems on the Tabular Hills of north east Yorkshire. The name has been given to a series of linear ditches and banks stretching north-south over 9km parallel with and close to the western scarp of the Hambleton Hills. The system was constructed between the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age to augment the natural division of the terrain by river valleys and watersheds. Significant stretches remain visible as upstanding earthworks; elsewhere it can be recognised as a cropmark on aerial photographs. The system formed a prehistoric territorial boundary in an area largely given over to pastoralism; the impressive scale of the earthworks displays the corporate prestige of their builders. In some instances the boundaries have remained in use to the present day. Linear boundaries are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and land use in the later prehistoric period; all well preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.

The linear dyke known as Double Dikes, within Waterloo Plantation, is a well preserved section of prehistoric boundary. Its importance is heightened by its spatial association with the three round barrows on Far Moor to the north and to Studfold Ring to the south.


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


The monument includes earthwork and associated buried remains of a 340m long section of a prehistoric boundary dyke known as Double Dikes. The section which forms the monument runs north-south through Waterloo Plantation, and is centred 600m north east of Waterloo Farm. Double Dikes was first recorded by the 1642 Estate Survey for Francis Lord Villiers of Helmsley where it was labelled Rowland Dykes. It was mapped again in the 19th century by the Ordnance Survey. Double Dikes originally extended northwards from the top of Smith Hill Howl, a steep-sided stream gorge on the hillside above Ampleforth, to join another steep-sided valley known as Stone Bridge Howl which effectively continues the boundary to the north east to end at the River Rye. This whole boundary has been interpreted as the south easternmost component of a complex of dykes known as the Cleave Dyke system. This extends for about 8km along the top of the scarp of the Hambleton Hills between 400m south east of the top of Sutton Bank and Steeple Cross boundary stone on the north side of Dale Town Common. It has also been suggested that Double Dikes is associated with Studfold Ring which is an enclosure with a bank and internal ditch dated to the Iron Age which lies 1.8km to the south of the monument, 300m east of the southern end of the dyke close to Smith Hill Howl. Another possible association is with the three round barrows, thought to be Bronze Age, 300m beyond the north end of the dyke on Far Moor. The section of Double Dikes which forms the monument extends from Stone Bridge Howl southwards to a forest track just north of Cote Lane, the A170. Between the track and the road the dyke has been removed by quarrying and to the south of the road, the dyke has been levelled by agriculture. The southern part of Double Dikes, which partly lies within Pry Rigg Plantation, also survives as an earthwork and this is the subject of a separate scheduling. Within Waterloo Plantation, Double Dikes is formed by a ditch with flanking banks, with the western bank typically being slightly higher and broader than the eastern. The banks are typically 0.5m to 1m high and 4m-5m wide with their tops being 7m-8m apart. There are no berms between the base of the banks and the top of the ditch, instead the profile is continuous, with the base of the ditch being typically 2m-2.5m below the top of the banks, although this depth increases to around 3m in the southern part of the monument. Double Dikes as a whole is typically 13m-15m wide. Towards the southern end of the monument there is a 20m wide gap in the dyke at the base of a slight fold in the hillside which further downhill to the east becomes another steep sided gorge known as Beech Gill. On the 1:10,000 map this gap is marked by a trackway. This is considered to be an original causeway through the boundary, and is very different in nature to the places where two further trackways cut through the dyke further to the north, where it can be seen that the ditch has been infilled and the banks cut through. At the north end of the dyke the two banks fade out, the eastern, downhill side bank continuing the furthest, as the ditch runs down the increasingly steep slope into Stone Bridge Howl. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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: 32675

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Spratt, D A , 'The Archaeological Journal' in The Cleave Dyke System, , Vol. 54, (1982), 33-52

End of official listing