Offa's Dyke: section in Danehill Wood, 300m west of East Vaga


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020607

Date first listed: 14-Mar-1938

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Sep-2002


Ordnance survey map of Offa's Dyke: section in Danehill Wood, 300m west of East Vaga
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Dec-2018 at 14:50:45.


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

County: Gloucestershire

District: Forest of Dean (District Authority)

Parish: Tidenham

National Grid Reference: ST 54948 98139


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 Danehill Wood, 300m west of East Varga, 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 berm, counterscarp 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.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a section of Offa's Dyke in Danehill Wood, 300m west of East Vaga. 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 903m long section the Dyke is visible as a bank with a berm and short section of counterscarp bank to the west and contiguous quarry pits to the east. The bank is a maximum of 16m wide at its base, standing to 3.5m high on its western face and 1m high on its eastern face. The berm marks a break in slope between the western face of the bank and the natural slope of the hill, and is up to 4m wide. Towards the southern end of the section a counterscarp bank approximately 0.4m high is visible. The quarry pits are between 6m and 8m wide and about 1m deep. There is a drystone wall to the east of this scheduling, thought to have been built during the 19th century, which marks the line of an old boundary and which now revets part of the monument. A disused lime kiln which is included in the scheduling, stands at the northern end of the section, and is also thought to have been built during the 19th century. There is a gap in the monument at the northern end of the scheduling at Ordnance Survey NGR ST55069833, which allows access for vehicles to Tintern Quarry to the west of the Dyke. Although the bank has been levelled, evidence for the Dyke's quarries is visible to the east of the cut. The break is not thought to be the site of an original access point through the monument. To the south of this section, below Dennel Hill, the line of the Dyke has been destroyed by post-medieval quarrying.

The stone boundary wall to the east of the bank, all fence posts, sign posts, marker posts and telegraph poles are excluded from the scheduling, although th 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: 34853

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hoyle, J, Vallender, J, Offa's Dyke in Gloucestershire: Management Survay, (1997)
Lime kiln south west of Boatwood Cottage,

End of official listing