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Section of the Danes' Dyke between the B1255 and B1229 roads

A Scheduled Monument in Bempton, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.1167 / 54°7'0"N

Longitude: -0.144 / 0°8'38"W

OS Eastings: 521415.567396

OS Northings: 470572.031645

OS Grid: TA214705

Mapcode National: GBR WNFV.M1

Mapcode Global: WHHF1.RSMF

Entry Name: Section of the Danes' Dyke between the B1255 and B1229 roads

Scheduled Date: 30 August 1922

Last Amended: 29 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013192

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26507

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Bempton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Bempton St Michael

Church of England Diocese: York

Details

The monument includes part of the central 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 monument is situated between the B1255 and the B1229 roads.
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 both by Iron Age tribes and probably also 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, converting it into a promontory fort. 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.
Continuing north from the extreme southernmost portion, the monument continues
as triple banks for a short distance, a feature thought to be indicative of
the existence of an original entrance here, after which it reduces again to
double banks.
The earthern ramparts vary in height according to the immediate topography of
the terrain, from around 3m to over 4m in height on the east side to over 12m
on the west side where it is exaggerated by the presence of the ditch, which
continues to be deep and wet in places.
There are old gravel workings which have disrupted the system over a length of
around 20m.
Northward to the B1229, the system again becomes a single bank and ditch
earthwork.
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 surface of both the B1255 and the B1229 are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath them, representing the surviving
buried ditch deposits, is included. All modern post and wire fences separating
the monument from the farmland which bounds it to the east and west are also
excluded from the scheduling, althouth the ground beneath them is 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
Forty years' research in British and Saxon Burial Mounds, (1905), p367
The Victoria History of the County of East Riding of Yorkshire, (1974), 151-12
Pitt-Rivers, Major General, Papers of the British Association, (1881), p690
Ramm, H, 'RAI Summer Meeting Proceedings, 18/7/84' in Danes' Dyke, Flamborough (TA216694-213732), (1984), pp37-39
Other
AM7,
Bastow, M E, Ancient 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)
Scheduled Ancient Monuments Record, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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