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Length of linear earthwork, part of the Aberford Dyke system, at Field Lane between the Aberford By-pass and Humphrey Dale Cottage

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Length of linear earthwork, part of the Aberford Dyke system, at Field Lane between the Aberford By-pass and Humphrey Dale Cottage

List entry Number: 1019873

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Leeds

District Type: Metropolitan Authority

Parish: Aberford

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 27-Sep-1949

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Jun-2001

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 31518

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

The Aberford Dykes are substantial linear earthworks situated in North and West Yorkshire, east of Leeds. They lie north and south of Cock Beck with the modern village of Aberford at their approximate centre. They are visible as rock-cut ditches and banks. Most of the earthworks run approximately east-west. The ditch is on the south side of the bank and some parts of the earthworks have an additional counterscarp bank on the same side. The earthworks north of Cock Beck (including sections known as The Ridge, Becca Banks and the earthwork at Field Lane) mostly occupy commanding positions at the top of the scarp and may once have formed a single boundary. The earthworks south of Cock Beck include the South Dyke which occupies the top of the scarp above the beck and, crossing it, Woodhouse Moor Rein, running north east-south west along a low rounded ridge. The Aberford Dykes have been identified as defences of the British kingdom of Elmet against the Anglo-Saxons in the late sixth and early seventh centuries, or as boundaries to defend the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Deira against the Mercians in the seventh century AD. They have also been interpreted as dykes built to defend the territories of the Brigantes against the advance of the Roman Empire in the first century AD. There is no documentary evidence for the date of the Dykes, however, and firm archaeological dating evidence is sparse. They may not all belong to one period but relate to a number of different events. The style of construction has parallels in both the Roman and the early post-Roman periods. Excavation at Field Lane retrieved Roman period pottery from deposits associated with the silting up of the ditch. It is therefore likely that, here at least, the ditch was open during the Roman period. The size and extent of the Aberford Dykes imply a considerable expenditure of time and labour, suggesting a degree of social organisation at the time of their construction and a strong concern for territorial control, whether military, organisational or symbolic. All known lengths of the Aberford Dykes where significant archaeological deposits are likely to survive are considered to be nationally important.

The length of linear earthwork, part of the Aberford Dyke system, at Field Lane between the Aberford By-pass and Humphrey Dale Cottage survives well, and will preserve significant archaeological information about the Roman and post- Roman periods.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a length of the earthwork at Field Lane which is part of the Aberford Dyke system. It runs along Field Lane from the A1 Aberford By- pass to the access road to Humphrey Dale Cottage. At the west end of this stretch of earthworks the bank is 2m-3m high and 13m wide and occupies the top of a natural scarp. Further east, the bank survives under Field Lane. The ditch is no longer visible as an earthwork but has been shown to survive as a buried feature south of the bank by excavations conducted before the A1 road improvements. These excavations showed that at the western end the ditch survives up to 3m in depth with a steep-sided, flat- bottomed profile, 2.4m wide at the base and 8m wide at the top. In the eastern excavation trench, near Humphrey Dale, the bank was shown to survive to a height of only 0.2m, being damaged by ploughing and Field Lane itself. Only the southern 1.5m of the bank was revealed, the remainder lying to the north of the limits of the excavation. The ditch at the eastern end was slightly different in profile from that seen in the western trench and survived to a depth of 3m. The excavations also revealed buried soil beneath the bank and Roman pottery in the ditch, demonstrating that the ditch was open in Roman times. The pylon is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
WYAS, , A1-M1 Link Road, (1997)

National Grid Reference: SE 43741 37910

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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 - 1019873 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 04:56:52.

End of official listing