Ancient Monuments

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Linear dyke extending for 2.2km in Coneysthorpe Banks Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Coneysthorpe, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.142 / 54°8'31"N

Longitude: -0.8917 / 0°53'30"W

OS Eastings: 472496.0355

OS Northings: 472364.4031

OS Grid: SE724723

Mapcode National: GBR QN6J.QY

Mapcode Global: WHFBF.85M0

Entry Name: Linear dyke extending for 2.2km in Coneysthorpe Banks Wood

Scheduled Date: 23 November 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013696

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28203

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Coneysthorpe

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Barton-le-Street St Michael

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a discontinuous linear dyke extending east to west for
2.2km below the edge of the escarpment forming the south of the Vale of
Pickering. The dyke has been divided into five areas. The dyke includes a bank
up to 5m wide and 0.7m high with a ditch lying to the north up to 2m wide and
0.6m deep. The dyke broadly follows the contour of the hillside. It is cut
through in several places by forest tracks and hollow ways. To the east, the
dyke ends in a forest plantation and its full extent cannot yet be determined.
To the west, it ends in a cultivated field where it has been reduced by
agricultural activity although it continues 550m further to the west where it
is the subject of a separate scheduling. The dyke is part of a wider system of
boundaries extending across the Vale of Pickering. At the eastern end of the
dyke at Scarrish Wood and Spring le Howl it is connected to other dykes
extending northwards which divided the terrain into discrete units for social
and agricultural purposes.

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

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.

This section of dyke is well preserved as an earthwork and significant
archaeological remains will be retained within the bank and ditch. The dyke is
part of a wider system of boundaries, enclosures and ritual sites. Similar
groupings of monuments are known elsewhere in the north east of England and
offer important scope for the study of the development and exploitation of the
landscape in different geographical areas during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, (1993), 92-120
McElvaney, M, Howardian Hills AONB Historic Environment Study, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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