Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Two sections of the Cleave Dyke system, one known as the Casten Dike, and a round barrow south of Kilburn Moor Plantation

A Scheduled Monument in Cold Kirby, North Yorkshire

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 54.2378 / 54°14'16"N

Longitude: -1.2055 / 1°12'19"W

OS Eastings: 451881.85

OS Northings: 482749.2983

OS Grid: SE518827

Mapcode National: GBR NM0F.TM

Mapcode Global: WHD8K.GR62

Entry Name: Two sections of the Cleave Dyke system, one known as the Casten Dike, and a round barrow south of Kilburn Moor Plantation

Scheduled Date: 16 July 1969

Last Amended: 3 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012992

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26933

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Cold Kirby

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Upper Ryedale

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes two sections of linear earthwork which cross at right
angles at the south end of the Cleave Dyke system. A section forming the
southern part of the main Cleave Dyke extends for 390m from north west to
south east. It is crossed 240m along its length from the north by the Casten
Dike, but it continues to the south east for a further 120m. This dyke is
preserved as a shallow ditch with flanking banks. The ditch is 4m wide and
0.5m deep and the banks 3m wide and 0.75m high. Where the dyke is crossed by
the Casten Dike it is no longer visible as an earthwork, although the ditch is
preserved as a buried feature. The Casten Dike is orientated north east to
south west, extending eastwards for 550m from the edge of the scarp slope. At
its eastern end it has been truncated by a modern road. This dyke is preserved
as a prominent ditch with a flanking bank to the north. The ditch is 3.5m wide
and 1m deep, and the bank is 6m wide and 1m high. Flanking the ditch to the
south, an old and ruined dry stone wall runs along a shallow counterscarp
bank. A round barrow is located immediately adjacent to the Casten Dike at a
point 140m from the south west end. This barrow has an earth and stone mound
1.5m high. It is round in shape and 12.5m in diameter. The ditch of the Casten
Dike cuts across the northern flank of the barrow, demonstrating that the
barrow is an earlier structure than the dyke. The Cleave Dyke and Casten Dike
both continue beyond the road to the north and east respectively, where they
are the subjects of separate schedulings.

These sections of earthwork are part of a wider system of prehistoric linear
earthworks continuing for 9km north-south along the western edge of the
Hambleton Hills. Shorter east-west earthworks 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 area of the
Hambleton Hills provide important evidence of territorial organisation and the
development of settled agricultural practices.

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.

These sections of the Cleave Dyke system are preserved as prominent earthworks
for most of their length, forming a very clear division across the landscape.
The section of Cleave Dyke continues the main spine of the dyke further south
whilst the Casten Dike cutting across it towards Flassen Gill forms another,
smaller division. Round barrows are funerary monuments dating from the Late
Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age. They were constructed as earthen or
rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials.
Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the
modern landscape and they provide important information on the diversity of
beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities.
The round barrow included in the monument survives well, and significant
information about the original form, burials placed within it and evidence of
earlier land use beneath the mound will be preserved. It is known to have been
constructed before the dyke, and in common with other similar round barrows on
the Hambleton Hills, is thought to mark an early boundary. There are similar
associations of barrows and linear earthworks in other parts of North
Yorkshire. 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, 'Thae Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in The Cleave Dyke System, , Vol. VOL 54, (1990), 33-56
Spratt, D A, 'Thae Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in The Cleave Dyke System, , Vol. VOL 54, (1990), 33-56
Spratt, D A, 'Thae Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in The Cleave Dyke System, , Vol. VOL 54, (1990), 33-56

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.