Ancient Monuments

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Cross dyke south east of Uplaw Knowe

A Scheduled Monument in Alwinton, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.3702 / 55°22'12"N

Longitude: -2.1357 / 2°8'8"W

OS Eastings: 391494.896624

OS Northings: 608472.150849

OS Grid: NT914084

Mapcode National: GBR F6JB.FR

Mapcode Global: WHB0F.5970

Entry Name: Cross dyke south east of Uplaw Knowe

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008275

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25016

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Alwinton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Details

The monument includes the remains of a cross dyke which runs for 130m above a
saddle of ground in a north west to south east ridge. It is thought that the
monument was once a much longer feature running between steep slopes on either
side of the ridge. The dyke comprises an earthen bank 4m-6m wide standing to a
maximum height of 1m with a ditch 2.5m wide and 0.5m deep on the south side of
the bank. Clennell Street, a medieval drove road, passes through a gap in the
cross dyke but its relationship with the monument is uncertain. It is thought
that the cross dyke is prehistoric in origin and marks a territorial division
which may have been reused during the medieval period.
The fence line which crosses the cross dyke from south east to north west is
excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath it 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.

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 Uplaw Knowe is 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 on the northern borderlands.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
NT 90 NW 04,

Source: Historic England

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