Prehistoric linear boundary on Stonygate Moor, 550m west of Warren House Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Prehistoric linear boundary on Stonygate Moor, 550m west of Warren House 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.

North Yorkshire
Ryedale (District Authority)
North Yorkshire
Ryedale (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 86893 84608

Reasons for Designation

Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used later. The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries in the landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age; all well preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.

The eastern Tabular Hills is an area which has many networks of prehistoric land boundaries. These are thought to represent systems of territorial land division which were constructed to augment natural divisions of the landscape by river valleys and watersheds. The Dalby Forest and Scamridge areas have a particular concentration which is thought to have originated in the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age, earlier than most other prehistoric boundary systems on the Tabular Hills. The networks within this concentration, and many of their component boundaries, are notably complex and are of considerable importance for understanding the development of later prehistoric society in eastern Yorkshire. Despite limited disturbance, the prehistoric linear boundary on Stonygate Moor, 550m west of Warren House Farm has survived well. Important environmental evidence which can be used to date the boundary and determine contemporary land use will be preserved within the lowest ditch fills. Evidence for earlier land use will be preserved in the old ground surface beneath the banks. The lowest ditch fills of the plough-levelled section will also preserve valuable environmental evidence. The stratigraphic relationship between the post-medieval boundary segment and the prehistoric boundary will survive and provide evidence for the date of the later reuse of the earlier boundary. The post-medieval boundary segment is an example of early post-medieval enclosure on the Tabular Hills. It illustrates the process of physical division between parishes of formerly common uplands, which took place in the late medieval and early post-medieval periods and it provides a sample of a more extensive network of post-medieval boundaries within the parish of Allerston. This network is superimposed upon a pattern of prehistoric land division. The continued use of many of these boundaries during the post-medieval period demonstrates their importance in the landscape.


The monument includes a prehistoric linear boundary which is situated at the edge of Dalby Forest, on the southern slopes of the Tabular Hills. Also included is a segment of post-medieval linear boundary which is superimposed upon the western side of the prehistoric linear boundary. The prehistoric boundary runs NNW to SSE between Sand Dale and the head of Weas Dale, turning more to the south at the southern end. It has a ditch up to 3m wide which runs between two banks of earth and stone, each of which measures up to 3.5m in width. The eastern bank stands up to 0.6m high and the ditch is up to 0.9m deep from the top of it. The eastern bank is only intermittent, having been damaged in places by forestry activities. In the southern half of the monument the eastern bank and the ditch have been levelled and filled in as a result of ploughing in an arable field and are no longer visible as earthworks. Below ground remains of both the bank and ditch do survive here and are visible on aerial photographs. The western bank is higher and more pronounced than the eastern bank because it has been augmented by the construction of the post-medieval boundary on top of it. It has an overall maximum height of 1m. At the northern end of the monument, the prehistoric boundary turns sharply to the north east and terminates after a further 5m; the post-medieval boundary segment projects beyond this point. The post-medieval boundary is used to mark the modern division between the parishes of Allerston and Wilton and continues to the north and south beyond the monument at either end. The monument forms part of a network of prehistoric linear boundaries which is surrounded by many other prehistoric monuments, particularly burials. The post-medieval boundary segment is a sample of the network of post-medieval boundaries which were constructed from the 17th century onwards, to enclose the wastes in the township of Allerston. The fence which runs along the western edge of the western bank and the derelict wall which runs north east to south west across the monument at the edge of the arable field are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Northern Archaeological Associates, , North York Moors Forest Survey Phase Two, (1996)
Winchester, A J L, The Harvest of the Hills, (2000), 26-51
DP AQ 15-16, (1981)


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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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