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Section of Danes' Dyke between the Cliff Plantation and the B1255

A Scheduled Monument in Flamborough, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.1086 / 54°6'31"N

Longitude: -0.1427 / 0°8'33"W

OS Eastings: 521518.917821

OS Northings: 469676.447266

OS Grid: TA215696

Mapcode National: GBR WNFX.WX

Mapcode Global: WHHF1.SZ6N

Entry Name: Section of Danes' Dyke between the Cliff Plantation and the B1255

Scheduled Date: 30 August 1922

Last Amended: 29 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013191

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26505

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Flamborough

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Flamborough St Oswald

Church of England Diocese: York

Details

The monument includes the extreme southern section of the linear bank and
ditch system known as the Danes' Dyke, which in its entirety runs from the
coast north of Flamborough Head south for a distance of two and a half miles,
enclosing an area of approximately five square miles of headland. This section
of the Dyke is situated between the cliffs on the southern end of Flamborough
Head, and the B1255 road.
The Danes' Dyke is thought to have been constructed in the Bronze Age along
with other linear earthworks on the nearby Yorkshire Wolds. Its name, however,
suggests a later date and it would seem likely that it was reused as a
defensive earthwork at some point in the late ninth and tenth centuries AD.
The dyke effectively cuts off the Flamborough peninsula, which is also
naturally defended on all sides by steep chalk cliffs. The area thus enclosed
is large enough, and has sufficient resources, to support a sizeable
community, with sources of fresh water available.
Throughout most of its length the dyke has a single bank and ditch, although
in places additional stretches of parallel bank and ditch also exist.
The dyke system appears to have an original rounded terminal to the east of
the former Danes' Dyke House and at the head of the valley which runs south to
the sea. Although this terminal appears original, the east side of the valley
further south was augmented by some form of rampart, building rubble for which
has been recorded falling onto the beach from the southern end of the valley.
This therefore suggests that the eastern side of the valley was augmented by a
separate section of earthwork. Field evidence suggests this was of a slighter
construction than the dyke sections further north. Where the valley and the
rampart diverge, the ditch varies from between 8m to 12m wide. The bank is
between 18m and 23m wide and has an average height of approximately 7m from
the bottom of the ditch. The ditch is clearly visible in places, and in others
has all but disappeared (for example where a paved road has been constructed
along its length), in which case the ditch will survive as a buried feature.
The bank and ditch system is interrupted along its length by several gaps,
which are most probably of recent construction, for access or drainage
purposes. These cuttings afford a cross-sectional view of the bank, which is
roughly triangular, and is constructed of chalk blocks or rubble, and earth
with the upper part of turves and a foundation of compacted stones. A
revetment wall constructed of turves would have consolidated the mound
material and kept it in place.
Although normally of a single bank and ditch construction for its length, the
dyke becomes a double bank, with a second, lower bank on the westward side,
towards the northern end of this segment, where it is cut by the B1255 road.
There is evidence of a further low arm of a bank, creating a triple defence,
immediately south of this road cutting.
Although the sections of the dyke system across the Flamborough peninsula
abut each other, for purposes of clarity and administration, the sections have
been defined as separate schedulings.
The modern paved road surface which follows the line of the ditch south from
the B1255 road is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it
is included. Modern post and wire fences, together with modern seats for
recreational use are also excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath these is also included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or
multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between
less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features
visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The
evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that
their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although
they may have been re-used later.
The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were
constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries
in the landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of
their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious
associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those
groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance
for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age; all well
preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.

The Danes' Dyke is extremely well preserved and remains a significant boundary
in the modern landscape. It will retain important archaeological and
environmental information relating to the date of its construction and
function, together with evidence of the contemporary climate and ecology of
the locality and subsequent history of use.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of East Riding of Yorkshire, (1974), 151-152
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), p367
Ramm, H, 'RAI Summer Meeting Proceedings, 18/7/84' in Danes' Dyke, Flamborough (TA216694-213732), (1984), pp37-39
Other
AM7,
Bastow, M E, Ancients Monuments Record Form, AM107, (1987)
Environmental Consultancy, Univ. of Sheffield, Danes Dyke: Site Management Plan Survey, 1994, Report to East Yorks Borough Council
Information held by Humberside SMR, Various, (1994)
Pitt-Rivers, Major General, Papers of the British Association, (1881)
Scheduled Ancient Monuments Record, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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