Cross dyke on Saltergate Brow, 750m south east of Barr Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021166

Date first listed: 12-Jun-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Nov-2003


Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke on Saltergate Brow, 750m south east of Barr Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 09-Dec-2018 at 19:04:50.


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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Ryedale (District Authority)

Parish: Lockton


National Grid Reference: SE 85871 94356


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

Reasons for Designation

Cross dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.2km and 1km long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to one or more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across ridges and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on aerial photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation and analogy with associated monuments demonstrates that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used later. Current information favours the view that they were used as territorial boundary markers, probably demarcating land allotment within communities, although they may also have been used as trackways, cattle droveways or defensive earthworks. Cross dykes are one of the few monument types which illustrate how land was divided up in the prehistoric period. They are of considerable importance for any analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age. Very few have survived to the present day and hence all well- preserved examples are considered to be of national importance.

Despite limited disturbance the cross dyke on Saltergate Brow 750m south east of Barr Farm has survived well. Important environmental evidence which can be used to date the cross dyke and determine contemporary land use will be preserved within the lowest ditch fills. Evidence for earlier land use will be preserved in the old ground surface beneath the banks.

The cross dyke belongs to a network of prehistoric boundaries, dividing the area to the south of the scarp edge of the Tabular Hills, between Newton Dale in the west and Stain Dale in the east. It is thought to represent a system of territorial land division which was constructed to augment natural divisions of the landscape by river valleys and watersheds and it is one of many such groups found on the Tabular Hills. Networks such as these offer important scope for the study of land use for social, ritual and agricultural purposes during the prehistoric period.


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


The monument includes a cross dyke which is situated at the northern edge of the Tabular Hills. It occupies a prominent ridge-top position between Saltergate Brow and Long Gill.

The cross dyke runs for 400m in an approximate north west to south east direction, between the top of the steepest part of the scarp slope and the top of the steep rocky slope at the head of Long Gill. It has a ditch which runs between two parallel banks of earth and stone. The ditch is up to 1.5m deep, measured from the tops of the flanking banks which stand 0.5m-0.9m high. The earthworks have an overall maximum width of 12m. The cross dyke is breached by an unsurfaced track towards its western end; there are six further modern breaches further to the east.

The monument forms part of a network of prehistoric boundaries which is surrounded by many other prehistoric monuments, including burials and field systems.

All fence posts along modern boundaries crossing and running alongside the earthworks 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. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 35454

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Spratt, D A, Linear Earthworks of the Tabular Hills: North East Yorkshire, (1989), 33-40
Bastow, M, AM107, (1994)
Pacitto, A L, AM107, (1984)

End of official listing