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Wat's Dyke: section 350m long, 540m east of Weston Farm

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: Wat's Dyke: section 350m long, 540m east of Weston Farm

List entry Number: 1020562

Location

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

County:

District: Shropshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Oswestry

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 04-Feb-1937

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Apr-2002

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 33870

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

Wat's Dyke is a linear earthwork boundary marker and defensive rampart. It runs for about 60km from Basingwerk, on the Dee estuary, southwards to Maesbury, near Oswestry. It consists of a large ditch, 5m wide and 2m deep, with a bank on the eastern side. The bank is 10m wide at the base, on average, and its original height was about 2.5m. Wat's Dyke runs roughly parallel to Offa's Dyke which lies to the west, sometimes only 500m away. Both dykes run along the borders between England and Wales, and it is clear that both were constructed to defend land on the eastern side from incursions coming from the west.

The earthwork bank and ditch ran without interruption except where the course of a stream or river cut through it. The date of construction has not been accurately determined, but it is considered that it was built at an earlier date than the parallel late 8th century Offa's Dyke, although it fulfilled the same purpose. The Dyke forms a boundary between lands firmly in control of Anglo-Saxon overlords and lands more recently taken from the native Britains of this area by the English. Subsequently land to the west of the Dyke became part of what is now known as Wales. The line of the Dyke has been shown to mark a division between hidated (assessed for taxation on the basis of the Anglo-Saxon units known as `hides') and unhidated lands (land under a different system of government) at the time of the Domesday records. This suggests that the Dyke was constructed before the `hide' system was put into practice during the reign of King Offa of Mercia. The Dyke was probably built during the period of expansion of the kingdom of Mercia before the accession of Offa, possibly during the reign of Aethelbald (AD 716-757). All known lengths of Wat's Dyke where significant archaeological deposits are likely to survive are considered to be nationally important.

This 350m long section of Wat's Dyke, 540m east of Weston Farm survives well and is well-maintained. It has a high public profile and will provide an opportunity for education and recreational interest for the community. Soils buried beneath the bank and in the infill of the ditch will provide evidence for the construction of the Dyke and the landscape at the time of its construction and abandonment.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a section of the earthwork and buried remains of part of the boundary known as Wat's Dyke, which runs for 350m along the eastern side of Maesbury Road. It consists of a low bank, up to 0.8m high, and 5m wide at the base, with a ditch on the west side, about 3m wide and 0.9m deep.

There are further sections of the Dyke to the north and south which are the subject of separate schedulings. All fence posts and telegraph poles 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Worthington, M, Wat's Dyke, (1993)

National Grid Reference: SJ 30005 28129

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 - 1020562 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 24-Nov-2017 at 02:51:02.

End of official listing