Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross dyke, 200m south east of Hosedon Linn

A Scheduled Monument in Alwinton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.3661 / 55°21'58"N

Longitude: -2.1286 / 2°7'42"W

OS Eastings: 391947.567963

OS Northings: 608020.37923

OS Grid: NT919080

Mapcode National: GBR F6KD.Z6

Mapcode Global: WHB0F.8DN3

Entry Name: Cross dyke, 200m south east of Hosedon Linn

Scheduled Date: 14 July 1980

Last Amended: 22 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008274

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25015

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Alwinton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a cross dyke situated across the flat top
of an east-west ridge; it runs for 275m from precipitous slopes at the western
end to steep slopes at the east. The dyke comprises an earthen bank 5m wide
which stands to a maximum height of 1.5m; there is a ditch 2.5m wide and 0.5m
deep on the north side of the bank and a ditch of slighter proportions on the
south side of the bank. The association of the cross dyke with the medieval
drove road of Clennell Street, which passes through a gap in the dyke, is
thought to suggest that it is contemporary with it and may have served as a
method of coralling sheep. It is however likely that it is prehistoric in
origin and was reused during the medieval period.
The fence line which crosses the cross dyke from north to south is excluded
from the scheduling but the ground beneath it is included.

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.

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. 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.

The cross dyke south east of Hosedon Linn is very well preserved. It is one of
several cross dykes associated with Clennell Street, and forms one of a group
of cross dykes associated with other drove roads in the border area. They will
contribute to our understanding of prehistoric and medieval territorial
division in the northern borderlands.

Source: Historic England


NT 90 NW 07,

Source: Historic England

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