Ancient Monuments

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Section of cross ridge dyke and hollow way 200m north west of Pond Head Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Oulston, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.1652 / 54°9'54"N

Longitude: -1.1369 / 1°8'12"W

OS Eastings: 456446.901448

OS Northings: 474716.749238

OS Grid: SE564747

Mapcode National: GBR NNH8.NN

Mapcode Global: WHD8Z.HKTS

Entry Name: Section of cross ridge dyke and hollow way 200m north west of Pond Head Farm

Scheduled Date: 24 May 1951

Last Amended: 23 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013439

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26974

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Oulston

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Coxwold St Michael

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a section of prehistoric cross ridge dyke extending for
130m north to south, crossed by a medieval hollow way. The dyke has two
parallel ditches with a central bank and further banks on the outside. The
ditches of the double earthwork are between 4m and 5m wide and up to 2m deep.
The central bank is up to 10m wide and outer banks 10m each in width. The
hollow way extends for 160m east to west and is 20m wide and up to 8m deep
where it cuts the dyke, but becomes progressively shallower as it rises onto
higher ground to the east. To the north the dyke is truncated by the road but
continues again 22m beyond this section where it is the subject of a separate

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

Cross dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.2km and 1km
long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to one or
more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across ridges
and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on aerial
photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation and
analogy with associated monuments demonstrates that their construction spans
the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used
later. Current information favours the view that they were used as territorial
boundary markers, probably demarcating land allotment within communities,
although they may also have been used as trackways, cattle droveways or
defensive earthworks. Cross dykes are one of the few monument types which
illustrate how land was divided up in the prehistoric period. They are of
considerable importance for any analysis of settlement and land use in the
Bronze Age. Very few have survived to the present day and hence all well-
preserved examples are considered to be of national importance.

This section of cross dyke is preserved as a prominent earthwork forming a
clear division across the landscape. Significant remains are preserved which
will retain information about the original form and function of the earthwork
and offer important scope for the study of the division of land for social,
ritual and agricultural purposes in the prehistoric period. Information on the
cross dyke's relationship to the hollow way will also be preserved.

Source: Historic England


McElvaney, M, Howardian Hills AONB Historic Environment Study, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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