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Offa's Dyke: section in Passage Grove, 660m west of Sheepcot

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 Passage Grove, 660m west of Sheepcot

List entry Number: 1020603

Location

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

County: Gloucestershire

District: Forest of Dean

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Tidenham

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 14-Mar-1938

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: 33479

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 Passage Grove, 660m west of Sheepcot, survives well, and illustrates the use of natural topography to enhance the form and visibility of the Dyke. The bank will have preserved part of the original ground surface, predating the construction of the monument and, along with the ditch and counterscarp bank and quarries, will contain environmental evidence in the form of organic remains which will 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 Dyke 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 a section of Offa's Dyke in Passage Grove, 660m west of Sheepcot. This section of the Dyke is in the care of the Secretary of State. Offa's Dyke generally consists of a bank up to 3.5m high with an intermittent ditch to the west and quarry pits to the east. In places Offa's Dyke was strengthened by additional earthworks, namely a berm between the bank and ditch and a counterscarp bank on the lip of the ditch. In this 539m 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 main bank is between 14m and 16m wide at its base, and is up to 5.1m high on its western face and 1.4m on its eastern face. The ditch to the west of the bank is between 4m and 6m wide and is up to 0.7m deep, while the counterscarp bank rises to 0.7m. To the east of the main bank is a group of contiguous quarry pits which are up to 2.2m deep and between 5m and 8m wide. The line of the Dyke makes use of the natural topography of the area, running along the top of a steep scarp slope, which would have made the Dyke highly visible from the west bank of the River Wye. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them are 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)

National Grid Reference: ST 54252 99799

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 - 1020603 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 20-Nov-2017 at 03:23:27.

End of official listing