Ancient Monuments

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Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary and portion of field system 100m east of Whitefields Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Richmond, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4063 / 54°24'22"N

Longitude: -1.7153 / 1°42'55"W

OS Eastings: 418578.247

OS Northings: 501243.1193

OS Grid: NZ185012

Mapcode National: GBR JKGH.F7

Mapcode Global: WHC6D.MHDX

Entry Name: Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary and portion of field system 100m east of Whitefields Farm

Scheduled Date: 16 November 1965

Last Amended: 2 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013777

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26957

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Richmond

Built-Up Area: Richmond

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Richmond with Holy Trinity with Hudswell

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes two sections of the linear earthwork known as Scots
Dyke, an original entranceway through the Dyke and a section of ridge and
furrow field system lying to the east of Whitefields Farm. The dyke includes a
bank, ditch and, in places, a counterscarp bank. The northern section of the
dyke extends for 360m south from the Darlington road and includes a bank up to
20m wide with a ditch to the east 5m wide and a shallow counterscarp bank up
to 5m wide. There is a gap of 80m in the earthworks, which includes both the
entranceway and the terminus of the northern section of dyke. Although this
end of the earthwork has been reduced by agricultural activity, archaeological
remains are preserved as buried features. To the south of the entranceway the
bank is 30m wide and 4.5m high. There is a level platform 10m across, sunk 2m
into the crest of the bank, lying 25m south of the terminus. The bank reduces
in size to the south and after 150m the dyke is 10m wide and 2m high. The
ditch lying to the east of the bank is partially infilled but can still be
identified as a shallow depression. To the west of the dyke, the headland and
eastern end of a ridge and furrow field system is preserved, and is included
in the scheduling.
All modern fences, gates and walls are excluded from the scheduling although
the ground beneath is included.

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

Scots Dyke is a linear earthwork extending for 14km from the River Swale to
the River Tees in North Yorkshire. Significant sections remain visible as
upstanding earthworks and indicate that the dyke system had an earthen
rampart flanked on the eastern side by a ditch. Elsewhere the dyke often
survives as a low bank beneath present field boundaries. Where not preserved
as an upstanding monument, the dyke is visible as a cropmark on aerial
photographs. It was constructed in the post Roman period and encloses an area
in the eastern foothills of the Pennines between the Swale and Tees. This area
contained wealthy arable and pastoral land as well as some of the mineral
resources of the northern Pennines. Linear earthworks were used to divide
territory for military, social, economic and political purposes, often using
natural features such as rivers and watersheds to define an area. Scots Dyke
was built during the sixth and seventh centuries AD, in response to political
changes brought about, at least in part, by the arrival of the Anglians in
northern England. Fewer than 50 examples of linear earthworks of post Roman
date have been identified in England. As a rare monument type of considerable
importance to the study of early medieval territorial patterns, all surviving
examples are identified as being of national importance. This monument
includes a well preserved section of bank and ditch and the remains of an
original entranceway. Significant archaeological remains will be preserved
which offer important evidence for the study of form and function of the dyke
and its relationship with the wider landscape. Further archaeological remains
will be preserved beneath the ridge and furrow field system which in turn
provides a context for the dyke and is important for understanding the role of
the dyke as a late medieval boundary feature.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
McDonald, D A, Description and consideration of Scots Dyke, (1984)
RCHME, , Scots Dyke, (1874)
Maclaughlan, , 'Archaeological Journal' in Roman Roads Camps and Earthworks in the North Riding, , Vol. VOL 6, (1849)

Source: Historic England

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