Ancient Monuments

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Section of Scots Dike linear boundary south of Kirklands Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Gilling with Hartforth and Sedbury, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.4483 / 54°26'53"N

Longitude: -1.7042 / 1°42'15"W

OS Eastings: 419276.9241

OS Northings: 505915.868689

OS Grid: NZ192059

Mapcode National: GBR JKJ0.V5

Mapcode Global: WHC66.SGN7

Entry Name: Section of Scots Dike linear boundary south of Kirklands Farm

Scheduled Date: 19 July 1972

Last Amended: 26 July 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014797

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26945

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Gilling with Hartforth and Sedbury

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Gilling St Agatha

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument is a section of the linear earthwork known as Scots Dike. The
monument includes a bank and flanking ditch extending for 350m south of
Kirklands Farm, and is located on a south facing slope extending down from
Gatherley Moor. The bank is 10m wide and up to 1.8m high reducing in size at
the southern end where it is only 0.8m high above the adjacent land. The
ditch, lying to the east of the bank, is 7m wide 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 at the southern end. The dyke continued further to the
south, where its course can be identified in field boundaries and drainage
ditches. Here it has been much altered by agricultural activity and is not
therefore included in the scheduling. At the northern end the dyke is
truncated by Kirklands Farm and its outbuildings although it continues 70m to
the north 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 Dike 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. Where not preserved as an upstanding
monument, the dyke is visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs and elswhere
often survives as a low bank beneath present field boundaries. It was
constructed in the post Roman period and encloses an area in the eastern
foothills of the Pennines between the two rivers. 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 Dike was built
to consolidate territorial and economic units in response to changing
political circumstances during the sixth and seventh centuries AD. These were
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 section of Scots Dike survives well and significant archaeological
remains will be preserved within and beneath the monument. It will provide
information about the development of the landscape in the post Roman period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Haselgrove, C, 'Rural Settlement in the Roman North' in Indigenous settlement patterns in the Tyne-Tees lowlands, , Vol. BAR, (1982)
Maclaughlan, , 'Archaeological Journal' in Roman Roads Camps and Earthworks in the North Riding, , Vol. VOL 6, (1849), 221-225
RCHME, Scots Dyke,

Source: Historic England

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