Ancient Monuments

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Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary running south from Olliver East for 550m

A Scheduled Monument in Aske, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4211 / 54°25'15"N

Longitude: -1.7137 / 1°42'49"W

OS Eastings: 418673.593

OS Northings: 502885.6095

OS Grid: NZ186028

Mapcode National: GBR JKG9.SY

Mapcode Global: WHC6D.N44K

Entry Name: Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary running south from Olliver East for 550m

Scheduled Date: 19 June 1972

Last Amended: 3 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013779

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26959

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Aske

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Easby with Brompton on Swale and Bolton on Swale

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes a section of linear earthwork known as Scots Dyke
extending southwards across undulating land. The monument includes a
discontinuous bank and flanking ditch extending for 550m. The bank is 12m wide
and up to 2.5m high, reducing in size to the southern terminus, where it is
only 0.8m above the adjacent land. The ditch, lying to the east of the bank is
7m at the northern end but reduces to 3m wide to the south. To the east of the
ditch is a small counterscarp bank 2m wide at the northern end which narrows
and is no longer visible as an earthwork by the southern terminus. The dyke
continued further to the south, where its course can be identified in field
boundaries and drainage ditches but has been much altered by agricultural
activity and is not therefore proposed for scheduling. At the northern end
the dyke is truncated by the cottages and outbuildings known as Olliver East
although it continues 140m to the north of here where it is the subject of a
separate 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 significant
archaeological remains will be preserved which offer important evidence for
study of the form and function of the dyke and its relationship with the wider

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
McDonald, D A, Description and consideration of Scots Dyke, (1984)
Maclaughlan, , 'Archaeological Journal' in Roman Roads Camps and Earthworks in the North Riding, , Vol. VOL 6, (1849)
RCHME, Scots Dyke, (1974)

Source: Historic England

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