Ancient Monuments

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Cross ridge dyke on Godborough Castle earthwork north west of Turner's Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Bideford, Devon

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Latitude: 51.0243 / 51°1'27"N

Longitude: -4.2305 / 4°13'49"W

OS Eastings: 243665.505447

OS Northings: 127364.731771

OS Grid: SS436273

Mapcode National: GBR KH.HQ49

Mapcode Global: FRA 260D.ZL5

Entry Name: Cross ridge dyke on Godborough Castle earthwork NW of Turner's Wood

Scheduled Date: 16 October 1974

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002640

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 927

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Bideford

Built-Up Area: Bideford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Northam St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


Part of a cross dyke known as Goodborough Castle.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 November 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes part of a cross dyke running across the contours of a steeply sloping northern valley side of a tributary to the River Torridge. The cross dyke survives as an approximately 260m long linear bank aligned north to south which is strongly constructed and ditched on its western side. This ditch is up to 1.2m deep in places and water filled. There are at least two sizable mounds which measure up to 2m high at its northern end, possibly the result of subsequent stone quarrying activity and a possible inturned entrance which has been partially back filled. The name ‘Godborough’ or ‘Goodborough’ appears to have no known local or historical significance. To the north the dyke appears to be connected with a substantial lynchet which turns to the east but this is not included in the scheduling because it has not been formally assessed.

Further archaeological remains in the vicinity are scheduled separately.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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. Others are known to have had a function in the Middle Ages; without excavation it is difficult to determine whether this indicates reuse of earlier dykes or the construction of new ones during the medieval period. 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 drove ways or defensive earthworks. Cross dykes are one of the few monument types which indicate how land was divided up, whether in the prehistoric or medieval period. They are of considerable importance for the analysis of contemporary settlement and land use patterns. Relatively few examples have survived to the present day. Despite possible stone quarrying and partial backfilling the part of a cross dyke known as Goodborough Castle survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, date, territorial significance, possible defensive implications and landscape context through time.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-33071

Source: Historic England

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