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Offa's Dyke: section on the western slope of Llanfair Hill, 1.4km south west of Burfield

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Offa's Dyke: section on the western slope of Llanfair Hill, 1.4km south west of Burfield

List entry Number: 1020902

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Shropshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Llanfair Waterdine

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 23-Feb-1933

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Apr-2004

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 32603

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 on the western slope of Llanfair Hill, 1.4km south west of Burfield survives well, despite the construction of a trackway over part of the ditch. 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 in the form of pollen and seeds within the ditch and on the buried ground surface beneath the bank will provide further evidence of the landscape and farming practices at the time of the construction.

Public access along the southern half of this section creates a valuable recreational and educational resource for the community.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a section of the linear boundary known as Offa's Dyke on the western slope of Llanfair Hill, 1.4km south west of Burfield.

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 and a counterscarp bank on the outer lip of the ditch.

In this section the Dyke runs south along the western side of Llanfair Hill for some 1.8km before terminating at the point where the bank is interrupted by a farm track at Ordnance Survey NGR SO25587840. At the northern end of this section, adjacent to a stream, the Dyke is obscured by a patch of marshy ground. Nevertheless the ditch is believed to survive as a buried feature and is included in the scheduling. After running south for approximately 40m, the Dyke is interrupted by a 15m wide gap before continuing up the western flank of Llanfair Hill with a 3m high bank, well-defined ditch and counterscarp bank. On the eastern side of the bank are some shallow quarry pits from which material to build the Dyke was removed. The earthworks are visible for a further 1.1km beyond which the ditch is partly obscured by a metalled trackway joining it from the north and overlying the course of the ditch for 300m. However, the ditch will survive as a buried feature and is included in the scheduling. The Dyke is visible for a further 400m to the point where a track crosses the remains.

Further sections of Offa's Dyke, approximately 10m to the north and immediately to the south, are the subject of separate schedulings.

All posts and stiles and the surface of the metalled trackway 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.

Selected Sources

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

National Grid Reference: SO 25401 78627

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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 - 1020902 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2017 at 06:54:56.

End of official listing