Offa's Dyke: section known as Buttington Tump, 100m west of Buttington Lodge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020642

Date first listed: 31-Dec-1931

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Jan-2003


Ordnance survey map of Offa's Dyke: section known as Buttington Tump, 100m west of Buttington Lodge
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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 54707 93099


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 known as Buttington Tump survives well. The section of bank will have preserved part of the original ground surface, predating the construction of the monument and, along with the ditch, 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 section of 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 100m west of Buttington Lodge. Offa's Dyke generally consists of a bank up to 3.5m high with an intermittent ditch to the west and quarries 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 western lip of the ditch. In this section the Dyke turns from its usual alignment to run for 161m from north west to south east. It is visible as a ditch with a short section of bank, known as Buttington Tump, at the eastern extent of the section. The ditch survives to a maximum depth of 2.6m and is approximately 7m wide. The eastern end of the ditch is no longer visible as it has become infilled over time, but will survive as a buried feature. Buttington Tump is a fragment of the bank of Offa's Dyke surviving to 24m long, 10m wide and a maximum of 3m high. The road immediately to the east is believed to mark an original access point through the Dyke leading down to a crossing over the Severn at Beachley. The crossing is thought to have been used for a considerable period, because the narrowing of the river at this point makes it the shortest route across the Severn for about 16km. The importance of the crossing may well have necessitated a break in the line of the Dyke. The name `Buttington' is first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon chronicle (AD 894), and the `Butt' element of the place name is thought to mean `end', suggesting an early terminal at this point. In 1960 a section was cut through the bank in advance of road widening in which the Tump was cut back by about 8m, with the excess material being redeposited on the northern side of the mound. The excavation revealed an infilled ditch to the south of the monument, and the steep angle of the tip lines revealed within the bank suggest that the face of the bank may have originally been revetted. The turf below the monument also appeared to have been stripped away at this point, suggesting that the revetting may have been of turf. All fence and gate posts and stiles 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. It includes a 3 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 34858

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hoyle, J, Vallender, J, Offa's Dyke in Gloucestershire: Management Survay, (1997)
Lewis, J M, 'Trans. of the Bristol and Glos. Arch. Society' in A Section Through Offa's Dyke at Buttington Tump, Tidenham, , Vol. 82, (1963), 202-204

End of official listing