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Offa's Dyke: section in Wyeseal Wood, 600m north of Gumbers Land Barn

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: Offa's Dyke: section in Wyeseal Wood, 600m north of Gumbers Land Barn

List entry Number: 1020527

Location

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

County: Gloucestershire

District: Forest of Dean

District Type: District Authority

Parish: St. Briavels

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 26-Sep-1935

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Sep-2002

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 33459

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

Offa's Dyke is the longest linear earthwork in Britain, approximately 220km, running from Treuddyn, near Mold, to Sedbury on the Severn estuary. It was constructed towards the end of the eighth century AD by the Mercian king Offa, and is believed to have formed a long-lived territorial, and possibly defensive, boundary between the Saxon kingdom of Mercia and the Welsh kingdoms. The Dyke is not continuous and consists of a number of discrete lengths separated by gaps of up to 23km. It is clear from the nature of certain sections that differences in the scale and character of adjoining portions were the result of separate gangs being employed on different lengths. Where possible, natural topographic features such as slopes or rivers were utilised, and the form of Offa's Dyke is therefore clearly related to the topography. Along most of its length it consists of a bank with a ditch to the west. Excavation has indicated that at least some lengths of the bank had a vertical outer face of either laid stonework or turf revetment. The ditch generally seems to have been used to provide most of the bank material, although there is also evidence in some locations of shallow quarries. In places, a berm divides the bank and ditch, and a counterscarp bank may be present on the lip of the ditch. Offa's Dyke now survives in various states of preservation in the form of earthworks and, where sections have been levelled and infilled, as buried features. Although some sections of the frontier system no longer survive visibly, sufficient evidence does exist for its position to be accurately identified throughout most of its length. In view of its contribution towards the study of early medieval territorial patterns, all sections of Offa's Dyke exhibiting significant archaeological remains are considered worthy of protection.

The section of Offa's Dyke in Wyeseal Wood, 600m north of Gumbers Land Barn, survives well. The bank will have preserved part of the original ground surface, predating the construction of the monument and, along with the ditch, counterscarp bank and quarries will contain environmental evidence in the form relate both to the Dyke and to the landscape within which it was constructed. The bank will also contain evidence relating to the methods of construction of the monument and the building materials used.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of Offa's Dyke in Wyeseal Wood, 600m north of Gumbers Land Barn. Offa's Dyke generally consists of a bank up to 3.5m high with an intermittent ditch to the west and quarry ditches to the east. In places it was strengthened by additional earthworks, namely a berm between the bank and ditch, and a counterscarp bank on the western lip of the ditch.

In this 533m long section, the Dyke is visible as a bank, with a ditch and counterscarp bank to the west and quarry pits to the east. The bank is between 9m and 12m wide at its base and stands to a maximum height of 3.2m on its western face and 1m on its eastern face. The ditch to the west is up to 6m wide and 1m deep, while the counterscarp bank stands to 1m high and is 6m wide. The quarry pits to the east of the bank form a band 5m to 10m wide and between 1m and 1.5m deep. At the northern end of the section, the course of the Dyke has been badly damaged by later quarrying. Similarly, the southern end of the section has been truncated by the construction of the road through Mork village to Bigsweir. It has been suggested that this road may represent an original crossing point through the Dyke, as it would have linked the early medieval manor of Wyegate, about 1km to the north east, to the present river crossing at Bigsweir. Part of one of the fields to the north of the road had also become known as `Passage Grove' by 1840. However, the origin of this gap is not certain, and it is therefore not included in the scheduling.

All wooden fence posts, sign posts and stiles are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Hoyle, J, Vallender, J, Offa's Dyke in Gloucestershire: Management Survay, (1997), 71-74

National Grid Reference: SO 54482 05822

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.
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 - 1020527 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2017 at 06:15:09.

End of official listing