Offa's Dyke: section 400m east of Cwm Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020897

Date first listed: 23-Feb-1933

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Apr-2004


Ordnance survey map of Offa's Dyke: section 400m east of Cwm Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1020897 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 17-Jan-2019 at 13:53:44.


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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Clun

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Mainstone

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Newcastle on Clun

National Grid Reference: SO 26130 85471


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 400m east of Cwm Farm survives well, particularly in the northern part. The varied form of the earthwork throughout this section will provide insight into its construction and the technical skills of the people who built it. Of particular interest is the break in the Dyke 120m north of the modern road. This is considered to be one of the few original entrances across the Dyke and will provide valuable insight into the function of the Dyke as a defensive or territorial boundary. Artefactual evidence will also provide information about the changing use of the monument over time. In addition, environmental evidence such as pollen and seeds within the fills of the ditch and on the buried ground surface below the bank will provide evidence of farming in the area and the wider local landscape. This section is accessible to the public and as such is an important recreational and educational resource.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a section of the linear boundary known as Offa's Dyke 400m east of Cwm Farm. Offa's Dyke generally consists of a bank, up to 3.5m high, with an intermittent parallel ditch and quarry pits in places. It was strengthened in some areas by additional earthworks, namely a berm between the bank and ditch and counterscarp bank on the outer lip of the ditch. In this section the Dyke runs for some 920m from the south side of the entrance to Middle Knuck Farm to the north edge of the road at Hergan. At the northern end the bank is visible for 15m. Although the ditch has been infilled and overlain by a trackway, it will survive as a buried feature to the west of the Dyke. The construction of a barn and ancillary buildings at Middle Knuck Farm has modified the Dyke in this area, although the bank and ditch will survive as buried features and are included in the scheduling. To the south of the barn the Dyke is visible as a well-preserved earthwork for some 280m as far as a brook. Beyond the brook, the Dyke runs southwards over the shoulder of the hill, and is visible as a bank with the V-shaped ditch enhanced by a small watercourse. To the south, the ditch and counterscarp have been reduced by ploughing, but will survive as buried features and are, therefore, included in the scheduling. On the flank of Hergan Hill the Dyke turns to the south east before turning sharply to the south west. To the south of this point a trackway runs along the western side of the bank with a second bank defining its western edge. The track continues north eastwards through a gap in the Dyke thought to represent an original entrance approximately 120m north east of the modern road. A 20m sample of the continuation of the trackway on the north eastern side of the Dyke is included in the scheduling in order to preserve its relationship with the Dyke. At the southern end of this section the road from Cwm Farm has damaged both bank and ditch and this area is not, therefore, included in the scheduling. Further sections of Offa's Dyke immediately to the north of this section and to the south are the subject of separate schedulings. All post and wire fences, the footbridge below Middle Knuck Farm, and the ancillary buildings at Middle Knuck Farm 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: 32597

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Kay, K, Richards, , Offa's Dyke Path North, (1995), 19
Kay, K, Richards, , Offa's Dyke Path North, (1995), 18

End of official listing