Offa's Dyke: section 240m north east of Buttington Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020643

Date first listed: 18-Feb-1938

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Jan-2003


Ordnance survey map of Offa's Dyke: section 240m north east of Buttington Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. 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 55009 92953


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 240m north east of Buttington Farm survives well. The section of bank will have preserved part of the original ground surface, predating the construction of the Dyke and, along with the ditch to the south and the quarries to the north, 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 in its construction.


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 240m north east of Buttington Farm. 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 western lip of the ditch.

In this section, the Dyke turns from its usual alignment to run north west-south east. It is visible as a bank with a ditch to the south and quarry pits to the north. At the western end of the section the bank is about 10m wide and stands to a height of 2m on its southern face and 0.6m on its northern face. At the eastern extent of the section, the scale of the construction becomes increasingly monumental, with the bank measuring up to 17m wide at the base and standing to between 2.8m and 5m high on its southern face and 1.5m to 2m high on its northern face. The ditch to the south is up to 9m wide and increases in depth from 0.8m at the western end of the section to 2.85m at the east. The quarries lie to the north of the bank and range in size from 2m to 3m wide in the west to 0.3m to 1.5m deep in the east. This section forms the termination of Offa's Dyke in Gloucestershire, which ends at Sedbury Cliffs.

Towards the eastern end of the section, at Ordnance Survey NGR ST55129289, there are two gaps in the Dyke which are thought to be original as they allow water, running off the hill slopes to the north and rising from the springs close to the bank, to drain down the hillside.

All fence posts, stiles, telegraph poles, the wooden footbridge and the Offa's Dyke Stone 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: 34859

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hoyle, J, Vallender, J, Offa's Dyke in Gloucestershire: Management Survay, (1997)

End of official listing