Ancient Monuments

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Part of a medieval boundary dyke 220m east of Golitha House

A Scheduled Monument in St. Cleer, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4883 / 50°29'17"N

Longitude: -4.5011 / 4°30'4"W

OS Eastings: 222673.995288

OS Northings: 68374.87928

OS Grid: SX226683

Mapcode National: GBR ND.LMMV

Mapcode Global: FRA 17GR.VMT

Entry Name: Part of a medieval boundary dyke 220m east of Golitha House

Scheduled Date: 8 November 1961

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004364

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 605

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Cleer

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Cleer

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes part of a medieval boundary dyke situated on a ridge, overlooking the valley of the River Fowey. The bank associated with the dyke has been largely incorporated into a field boundary, and the ditch is preserved as a buried feature. The ditch measured up to 150m long and 0.6m deep and the bank up to 1.8m high when it was surveyed by the Ordnance survey in 1974, although the ditch was backfilled by 1978. The place name 'Fursnewth' meaning 'new ditch' was first recorded in the area in 1066, and the field to the east of the dyke was called 'Great Ditch' in 1840. It was depicted on the 1907 Ordnance Survey map and described by Crawford in 1929 who believed it once extended as far south as Gormain. It is known locally as the 'Tinner's Dyke'.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-435007

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Medieval boundary dykes are substantial linear earthworks, typically comprising a bank and ditch or double bank and ditch. They are recognised as earthworks, as cropmarks on aerial photographs, or as combinations of both. They are also sometimes referred to in early documents. In earthwork form they can be confused with prehistoric dykes, and indeed some may be prehistoric in origin, reused at a later date. Medieval boundary dykes were constructed throughout the Anglo-Saxon and post-Norman Conquest periods as boundary markers for large estates, townships or other areas of the landscape. Some had an additional defensive or other role which can sometimes be identified by the specialist design of the earthwork. Examples of this are the boundaries to medieval deer parks which are also known as deer leaps, their asymmetric design in cross-section allowing deer to pass into the park but not escape again. The construction of medieval boundary dykes required a huge investment in labour. They are of considerable importance for the analysis of contemporary settlement and land use patterns. Relatively few examples have survived as earthworks to the present day. Despite having been backfilled, the part of a medieval boundary dyke 220m east of Golitha House survives well, largely because it is now predominantly a buried feature and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use, social, economic, political significance, longevity and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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