Offa's Dyke: section 575m north west of Myndtown


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020898

Date first listed: 23-Feb-1933

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Apr-2004


Ordnance survey map of Offa's Dyke: section 575m north west of Myndtown
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Newcastle on Clun

National Grid Reference: SO 25914 84466


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 575m north west of Myndtown survives despite some modification by trackways and the construction of outbuildings. 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. Artefactual evidence will also provide information about the changing use of the monument. In addition, environmental evidence such as pollen and seeds preserved within the fills of the ditch and the buried land surface beneath the bank will provide evidence of farming practice in the area and the surrounding landscape This section is accessible to the public and as such is a valuable 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 575m north west of Myndtown. 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 a counterscarp bank on the outer lip of the ditch. In this section the Dyke is 1.5km long, running between the south side of the road from Cwm Farm at Hergan to the north bank of the brook which flows south of Lower Mount. To the north of this section, the construction of the road has damaged the Dyke and this area is not, therefore, included in the scheduling. The northernmost end of this section survives well, with the bank, ditch and counterscarp bank visible as earthworks approximately 18m wide following the contours of the land as far as the field gate at Lower Mount. Throughout this section the Dyke takes the form of a small bank on a terrace cut into the hillslope above a massive ditch with a pronounced counterscarp bank on the western side. Below the defences the ground falls away rapidly. To the north of Lower Mount a post-medieval quarry and a trackway on the north east side of the Dyke have modified the earthworks. In addition a second trackway crossing the Dyke from the north west has resulted in a gap in the Dyke at a point 110m north west of Lower Mount. The base of the bank and the ditch will survive as buried features and are, therefore, included in the scheduling. At Lower Mount the Dyke has been modified by agriculture and the construction of outbuildings, although the bank and ditch will survive as buried features and are included in the scheduling. To the west of Lower Mount, the Dyke is visible as a bank in the garden of the house running as far as the road to the south of the farm. The base of the bank and the ditch will survive as buried features beneath the road and are included in the scheduling. To the south of the road the Dyke is visible as a bank as far as the northern bank of the stream 90m to the south of Lower Mount. The spring at Ffynnon-y-Saint wells out of the southern side of the Dyke. The water flows into a metal tank and the overflow is piped across the Dyke to run down the slope to the north. The name of this feature suggests a healing or a holy well, but there is no record of any tradition of visiting the well for healing purposes. Further sections of Offa's Dyke immediately to the north and 30m to the south are the subject of separate schedulings. All post and wire fences, the water tank at Ffynnon y Saint, stiles, garden rockery features, a septic tank at Lower Mount and the road surfaces are all 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: 32598

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing