Ancient Monuments

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Section of the Cleave Dyke system on Arden Little Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Kepwick, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3054 / 54°18'19"N

Longitude: -1.2443 / 1°14'39"W

OS Eastings: 449272.746213

OS Northings: 490235.897701

OS Grid: SE492902

Mapcode National: GBR MLRN.FD

Mapcode Global: WHD8B.V1PR

Entry Name: Section of the Cleave Dyke system on Arden Little Moor

Scheduled Date: 4 May 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010532

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25596

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Kepwick

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes a section of the prehistoric linear boundary system on
the Hambleton Hills, known as the Cleave Dyke. The monument extends for c.300m
south of the Hambleton Road terminating at the enclosure boundary at the
south west edge of Arden Little Moor. The northern end is defined by a
trackway although the dyke continues for a further 20m immediately north
of this trackway.
At the southern end the dyke is truncated by forestry track although it would
originally have continued to meet the line of another dyke in the system. The
monument is a prominent linear earthwork comprising a ditch with a single
flanking bank lying to the east of the ditch. The ditch is 3.5m wide and 0.6m
deep whilst the bank is 3.5m wide and 0.5m high.
This dyke is part of a wider system of earthworks continuing for 9km north-
south along the western edge of the Hambleton Hills. Shorter east-west
boundaries linked valley heads to the main dyke and thus divided the terrain
into discrete units for agricultural and social purposes. The dyke is
associated with earlier round barrows which also marked the division of land.
Together the monuments on this part of the Hambleton Hills provide important
evidence of territorial organisation and the development of settled
agricultural practices. There is a stone wall crossing the monument which is
excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath 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

The Cleave Dyke System is the most westerly of a series of dyke systems on the
Tabular Hills of north east Yorkshire. The name has been given to a series of
linear ditches and banks stretching north-south over 9km parallel with and
close to the western scarp of the Hambleton Hills. The system was constructed
between the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age to augment the natural division
of the terrain by river valleys and watersheds. Significant stretches remain
visible as upstanding earthworks; elsewhere it can be recognised as a cropmark
on aerial photographs. The system formed a prehistoric territorial boundary in
an area largely given over to pastoralism; the impressive scale of the
earthworks displays the corporate prestige of their builders. In some
instances the boundaries have remained in use to the present day. Linear
boundaries are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and
land use in the later prehistoric period; all well preserved examples will
normally merit statutory protection.

This section of the Cleave Dyke system is preserved as a prominent earthwork
for most of its length, forming a very clear division across the landscape.
Located at the north of the system, it forms the south western section of the
Kepwick Dyke and originally connected with another dyke in the Cleave Dyke
System. It is also associated with a group of Bronze Age round barrows. These
are burial mounds with a ritual and social function, which also acted as
territorial markers. Such groupings of monuments offer important scope for the
study of the division of land for social, ritual and agricultural purposes in
different geographical areas during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Spratt, D A , 'The Archaeological Journal' in The Cleave Dyke System, , Vol. VOL 54, (1982), 33-52
ANY 70/25:34 ANY 71/1,

Source: Historic England

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