Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross ridge dyke north of North Ings Slack and west of Hob on the Hill tumulus

A Scheduled Monument in Commondale, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.501 / 54°30'3"N

Longitude: -1.0051 / 1°0'18"W

OS Eastings: 464528.299056

OS Northings: 512196.74217

OS Grid: NZ645121

Mapcode National: GBR PJFD.69

Mapcode Global: WHF8M.J4L9

Entry Name: Cross ridge dyke north of North Ings Slack and west of Hob on the Hill tumulus

Scheduled Date: 14 March 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015266

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28290

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Commondale

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Danby with Castleton and Commondale

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a cross ridge dyke incorporating an earlier stone
alignment extending for 510m southward from the crest by the Hob on the Hill
round barrow to the edge of North Ings Slack.
The dyke is a discontinuous earthwork 410m in length built around an alignment
of small exposed standing stones. The earthwork comprises a bank up to 5m wide
and 0.75m high with a ditch to the west up to 2.5m wide and 0.4m deep. In some
places there is a marked counterscarp bank to the west of the ditch up to 1.5m
wide and 0.4m high.
The stone alignment includes a series of stones, placed individually and in
close-set groups. The stone alignment extends beyond the earthwork by 100m to
terminate at the bank North Ings Slack.
Excavations in 1991 revealed that the stone alignment originally included more
stones than now survive and that the aligment existed for some time before the
ditch was dug and the stones were partly encapsulated by the bank.
The monument lies in an area rich in prehistoric remains including field
systems and burial mounds.

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

Cross dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.2km and 1km
long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to one or
more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across ridges
and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on aerial
photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation and
analogy with associated monuments demonstrates that their construction spans
the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used
later. Current information favours the view that they were used as territorial
boundary markers, probably demarcating land allotment within communities,
although they may also have been used as trackways, cattle droveways or
defensive earthworks. Cross dykes are one of the few monument types which
illustrate how land was divided up in the prehistoric period. They are of
considerable importance for any analysis of settlement and land use in the
Bronze Age. Very few have survived to the present day and hence all well-
preserved examples are considered to be of national importance.

The cross ridge dyke north of North Ings Slack survives well and important
archaeological remains will be preserved within it. It it demonstrates a
sequence of construction from a stone alignment to a more substantial
earthwork. Similar monuments survive elswhere in the region. The monument lies
in close proximity to major prehistoric burial sites and it is thought that
the substantial and impressive dyke may also have had a ritual function.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Vyner, B, 'Antiquity' in The Territory Of Ritual: Cross-Ridge Boundaries in Cleveland, (1994), 27-38
Vyner, B, 'Antiquity' in The Territory Of Ritual: Cross-Ridge Boundaries in Cleveland, (1994), 27-38

Source: Historic England

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