Ancient Monuments

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Section of Danes' Dyke from the B1229 north to Wold Farm field boundary

A Scheduled Monument in Flamborough, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.1272 / 54°7'37"N

Longitude: -0.1462 / 0°8'46"W

OS Eastings: 521242.036528

OS Northings: 471734.360445

OS Grid: TA212717

Mapcode National: GBR WNFQ.48

Mapcode Global: WHHF1.QJLD

Entry Name: Section of Danes' Dyke from the B1229 north to Wold Farm field boundary

Scheduled Date: 30 August 1922

Last Amended: 29 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013193

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26508

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


The monument includes 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 dyke
extends from the northern side of the B1259 road and to an eastward projecting
bend in the earthwork, linked to a field boundary and aligned on Wold Farm.

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. To the north of the B1229, the dyke
continues nearly straight, although bending slightly west, then back
northward. The bank is around 3m high, and the ditch over 2m deep and wet in

There are three gaps in the bank of uncertain origin, although probably made
to facilitate passage at periods subsequent to the construction of the
earthwork. The central gap has a slight eastward directioned turn to the bank,
paralleled by the ditch, and may be original. The gap at the northernmost
point of this section, where the Wold Farm field boundary aligns on the more
pronounced eastward bend of the dyke, has a second bank on the west side of
the ditch and is thought to be a later reconstruction of the defences during

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.

Modern post and wire fences dividing the dyke from agricultural land bounding
it to the east and the west are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath them is included.

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


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
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
Bastow, M E, Ancient Monuments Record Form, AM107, (1987)
Information held by Humberside SMR, Various, (1994)
Scheduled Ancient Monuments Record, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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