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


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020562

Date first listed: 04-Feb-1937

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Apr-2002


Ordnance survey map of Wat's Dyke: section 350m long, 540m east of Weston Farm
© 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 - 1020562 .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 12-Dec-2018 at 21:02:44.


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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Oswestry

National Grid Reference: SJ 30005 28129


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.


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


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

Legacy System number: 33870

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing