Ancient Monuments

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Section of Scots Dike linear boundary north of Kirklands Farm

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

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Latitude: 54.4524 / 54°27'8"N

Longitude: -1.7006 / 1°42'2"W

OS Eastings: 419506.7472

OS Northings: 506378.5377

OS Grid: NZ195063

Mapcode National: GBR JJKY.MP

Mapcode Global: WHC66.VCC1

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

Scheduled Date: 19 July 1972

Last Amended: 26 July 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014798

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26946

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 boundary known as Scots Dike lying on
Gatherley Moor and the hillside to the south. The monument includes a bank and
flanking ditch, a section where the dyke has been reduced by agricultural
activity but is preserved as a buried feature visible on aerial photographs
and a section of Roman road (the line of which is followed by the present A66)
passing through the line of the dyke. The earthwork extends for 250m north of
Kirklands Farm and includes an earthen bank 1.5m high and 10m wide with the
ditch lying to the east being 7m wide and 1m deep. To the east of the ditch
lies a low counterscarp bank up to 5m wide.

There is a gap in the earthwork, 28m wide, 100m north of the southern end,
where the bank has been levelled and the ditch infilled. This gap is believed
to be of some antiquity. To the north of the earthwork section the Roman road
passes through the line of the dyke. At this point the dyke dog legs
dramatically before continuing northwards across Gatherley Moor. Although now
partly disturbed by the modern A66, significant information about the Roman
road and its relationship with Scots Dike will be preserved beneath the modern
road surface. To the north of the road, the dyke has been reduced by
agricultural activity and no longer stands as an earthwork. However buried
remains of the ditch can be clearly seen on aerial photographs extending north
east for 50m then turning north west to cross Gatherley Moor for 300m, curving
gently to the north for a further 150m to end at a quarry, now infilled. The
dyke continues again as a buried feature beyond the quarry, where it is the
subject of a separate scheduling. At the south end the dyke has been truncated
by Kirklands Farm and its outbuildings, although it continues south 70m beyond
the farm where it is the subject of a separate scheduling.

All modern fences, gates and walls and the surface of the road 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 will retain significant archaeological remains and
offers important information about the development of the landscape in the
post Roman period. The section of Roman road passing through the monument
offers scope for the study of both the road itself and the relationship
between the dyke and the road and preserves important information about the
date and nature of Scots Dike.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
RCHME, , Scots Dyke, (1986)
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, (1849), 221-225
Maclaughlan, , 'Archaeological Journal' in Roman Roads Camps and Earthworks in the North Riding, (1849), 221-225

Source: Historic England

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