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Offa's Dyke: section 400m north and 170m east of Selley Hall

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 400m north and 170m east of Selley Hall

List entry Number: 1020904


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


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: 32605

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 400m north and 170m east of Selley Hall survives well despite some erosion by ploughing. This section also preserves quarry pits which are less common in the Shropshire sections of the Dyke. These provide additional information on the construction and use of the monument. Environmental evidence in the form of pollen and seeds will be preserved in the ditch and quarry pit fills and on the buried ground surface beneath the bank and counterscarp bank. This will contain information about the landscape in which the monument was constructed. This section is part of the Offa's Dyke national footpath 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. It lies within two separate areas of protection, 400m north and 170m east of Selley Hall. Offa's Dyke generally consists of a bank up to 3.5m high with a 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 for 850m from the south side of the road south of Garbett Hall to the farmyard at Brynorgan. At the monument's northern end, within the first area of protection, the bank and ditch are visible for 35m before being crossed by a stream. No remains of the Dyke have been identified in the stream bed and this area is not included in the scheduling. Beyond the stream and 25m further south within the second area, the defences are visible as a broad bank and ditch with a counterscarp bank clearly visible, although somewhat reduced by ploughing. In places the bank takes the form of a terrace because of hillwash and the steepness of the slope. Immediately to the east of the bank are a number of quarry pits which provided additional material for the bank in places. These quarry pits are included in the scheduling to preserve their relationship with the Dyke. The Dyke is crossed by the road to Brynorgan. Although the bank has been reduced in this area, both it and the ditch will survive as buried features. Beyond this road, a farm trackway follows the Dyke on the east side, slightly modifying the bank which is visible as a slight berm. On the opposite side of the track to the west the ditch and counterscarp are clearly defined. The Dyke is then visible as an earthwork immediately west of Brynorgan for some 80m beyond which it has been destroyed by a small quarry pit. Further sections of Offa's Dyke 40m to the north and 40m to the south are the subject of separate schedulings. All fence posts, gates and the surface of the farmtrack to Brynorgan and the road to Selley Cross 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
Noble, F, Offa's Dyke Reviewed, (1983), 61

National Grid Reference: SO 26427 76972, SO 26605 76641


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This copy shows the entry on 23-Feb-2018 at 08:24:46.

End of official listing