Ancient Monuments

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Section of the Cleave Dyke system near High Barn

A Scheduled Monument in Boltby, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2752 / 54°16'30"N

Longitude: -1.2221 / 1°13'19"W

OS Eastings: 450753.0465

OS Northings: 486896.3024

OS Grid: SE507868

Mapcode National: GBR MMX0.66

Mapcode Global: WHD8C.6S9X

Entry Name: Section of the Cleave Dyke system near High Barn

Scheduled Date: 27 February 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010534

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25600

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Boltby

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.520m
north to south parallel to the west edge of Hambleton Down, curving at the
ends to emerge at the scarp face as a well defined earthwork. The northern arm
of the monument comprises a bank with a flanking ditch lying to the
south. It extends for 90m south east from the scarp face. The monument then
turns and continues southwards for 380m. This stretch has been reduced by
agricultural activity and is no longer visible as an earthwork although
significant remains of the bank and ditch up to 7m wide are visible on aerial
photographs. The monument turns to extend westwards for 50m and for the last
25m of this part it is preserved as an upstanding bank with a flanking ditch
to the south. Where preserved as an earthwork the bank is 3.5m wide and 0.5m
high and the ditch is 3.5m wide and 0.6m deep.
This dyke is part of a wider system of earthworks continuing for 9km north-
south along the western edge of the Hambleton Hills, dividing 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 lies parallel to the main dyke and
encloses an area defined to the west by the scarp edge. The monument survives
partly as an earthwork and where levelled, the ditch and remains of the bank
will be preserved as buried features. The dyke is associated with a group of
Bronze Age round barrows. These are funerary monuments with a ritual and
social function which also served as territorial markers. Preservation of
significant archaeological remains offer important scope for the study of the
division of land for social, ritual and agricultural purposes in this area
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
Spratt, D A, 'The Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in The Cleave Dyke System, , Vol. VOL 54, (1992), 33-52

Source: Historic England

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