Offa's Dyke: section 730m south east of The Yew Tree


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020900

Date first listed: 23-Feb-1933

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Apr-2004


Ordnance survey map of Offa's Dyke: section 730m south east of The Yew Tree
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2018 at 08:18:39.


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: Newcastle on Clun

National Grid Reference: SO 25595 81155, SO 25687 82141, SO 25708 81982


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 730m south east of The Yew Tree survives particularly well, standing up to 3.2m high in places, despite some disturbance by the construction of a track. The varied form of the earthwork throughout this section will provide insights into its construction and the technical skills of the people who built it. Artefactual evidence will additionally provide information about the changing use of the monument. In addition, environmental evidence, such as pollen and seeds, preserved within the fill of the ditch and the buried ground surface beneath the bank, will provide evidence of farming practices in the area and the local landscape. This section of the Dyke 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 730m south east of The Yew Tree lying within three separate areas of protection. 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 runs for approximately 1.35km from the hillside above the south bank of the brook below Bryndrinog to the road which runs north of Springhill Farm. At its northern end, within the first area of protection, the Dyke is visible as slight earthworks running south for 40m before becoming more evident as a bank 1.8m high with a ditch and counterscarp bank 4m wide at the base. Beyond this, the Dyke is believed to have been destroyed by the construction of the road and Lower Spoad Farm, and this area is not, therefore, included in the scheduling. To the south of Lower Spoad Farm and in the second area of protection the Dyke is visible as a bank and ditch, approximately 40m long, lying within the farmyard. Beyond this, there is no evidence for the Dyke surviving immediately to the south, and this area is not included in the scheduling. Approximately 30m to the south, however, and within the third area of protection the Dyke is visible as a bank up to 3.2m high with a ditch and counterscarp bank continuing southwards up the hill for 450m before being joined by a track from the north west. The track overlies the ditch for 150m then runs along the eastern edge of the bank for 400m, passing some small modern quarries to the east of the Dyke. Both the ditch and the bank will survive as buried features where overlain by the track, and are included in the scheduling. South of this, the Dyke runs for a further 100m to the road at Spoad Hill, and is visible as a steep-sided bank and deeply cut ditch. Further sections of Offa's Dyke approximately 250m to the north and 12m to the south of this monument are the subject of separate schedulings. All fence posts, gates, stiles and track surfaces 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: 32600

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing