Prehistoric linear boundary in Dalby Forest, known as Dargate Dikes


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020212

Date first listed: 10-Oct-2001


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric linear boundary in Dalby Forest, known as Dargate Dikes
© 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.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1020212 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2018 at 12:18:33.


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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Allerston


National Grid Reference: SE 89463 91221


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

Reasons for Designation

Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used later. The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries in the landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age; all well preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.

Despite limited disturbance, the prehistoric linear boundary in Dalby Forest known as Dargate Dikes is in a good state of preservation. Important environmental evidence which can be used to date the boundary and determine contemporary land use will be preserved within the lowest ditch fills. Evidence for earlier land use will be preserved in the old ground surface beneath the banks. The eastern Tabular Hills is an area which has many networks of prehistoric land boundaries. These are thought to represent systems of territorial land division which were constructed to augment natural divisions of the landscape by river valleys and watersheds. The Dalby Forest and Scamridge areas have a particular concentration which is thought to have originated in the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age, earlier than most other prehistoric boundary systems on the Tabular Hills. The networks within this concentration, and many of their component boundaries, are notably complex and are of considerable importance for understanding the development of later prehistoric society in eastern Yorkshire. The Dargate Dikes are part of the system of boundaries dividing the area between Troutsdale in the south and the scarp edge of the Tabular Hills in the north. Stratigraphic relationships between the components of the boundary will survive and provide evidence for the sequence of construction and development of the boundary system.


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


The monument includes a prehistoric linear boundary which is situated at the northern edge of the Tabular Hills. It runs south from the top of the scarp slope and turns to the south west at the southern end to run into the head of Dargate Slack. The boundary consists of three parallel steep-sided ditches, each of which runs between two banks of earth and stone. The banks are up to 3.5m wide and stand between 0.3m and 0.7m high. The ditches are up to 3.5m across and are between 1.3m and 2m deep, measured from the tops of the adjacent banks. Separating the three sets of ditches and banks there are two gaps which are each between 2m and 4m wide. Together the earthworks have an overall width of 36m-38m. For the last 100m at the south western end, the boundary consists of only the western ditch and banks, which follow the contours of Dargate Slack and have an overall maximum width of 10m. The boundary is segmented by three forestry tracks, two of which cross it in a north west to south east direction and one from south west to north east. Additionally a large hollow way cuts through the southern part of the boundary in a WNW to ESE direction. The eastern ditch and banks are also crossed by a surfaced footpath which turns to the north to run along the eastern bank adjacent to the central ditch, then along the gap between the eastern and central sets of earthworks. The monument forms part of a network of prehistoric linear boundaries which are surrounded by many other prehistoric monuments, particularly burials. The surfaces of the three forestry tracks and the footpath are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included. A fourth forestry track truncates the northern terminal of the linear boundary and lies outside the protected area.

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


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

Legacy System number: 34682

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Northern Archaeological Associates, , North York Moors Forest Survey Phase Two, (1996)
Spratt, D A, Linear Earthworks of the Tabular Hills: North East Yorkshire, (1989), 33-41
Title: Ordnance Survey 2nd Edition 25" sheet 76/7 Source Date: 1912 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing