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Sections of single and multiple linear boundary dykes on Huggate Pasture and Frendal Dale

A Scheduled Monument in Millington, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.992 / 53°59'31"N

Longitude: -0.6932 / 0°41'35"W

OS Eastings: 485774.4835

OS Northings: 455898.99

OS Grid: SE857558

Mapcode National: GBR RQL8.QQ

Mapcode Global: WHGD7.BX4J

Entry Name: Sections of single and multiple linear boundary dykes on Huggate Pasture and Frendal Dale

Scheduled Date: 17 December 1929

Last Amended: 18 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015560

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26574

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Millington

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Huggate St Mary

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes sections of single and multiple Bronze Age linear
boundary banks and ditches (also known as dykes) running from the north of
Huggate Pasture, south west along Frendal Dale towards Pasture Dale and
Huggate Sheepwalk.
Lying close to an ancient trackway on the western side of the Wolds, the
surviving part of which forms the present-day Wolds Way, the monument is part
of a particularly elaborate complex of multiple dykes on Huggate Pasture,
single components of which run either along the top of the escarpment, or part
the way down the sides of the intervening dry valley systems of Frendal Dale
and Tun Dale, in the direction of Pasture Dale, Millington Dale and Cow Moor,
linking up with the system of boundary dykes in those areas. These dykes were
used to enhance the natural topographical barriers of spurs and escarpments
between valleys, with additional physical barriers of banks and ditches.
Natural conduits along the floors of dry valleys were then `blocked' by other
bank and ditch systems to control access.
Well preserved sections of these linear boundaries are the subject of separate
schedulings, and in some cases, adjacent monuments may physically touch.
This elaborate complex of Wolds boundary earthworks is probably one of the
best preserved remnants of the original more extensive systems recorded and
mapped by early antiquarians such as J R Mortimer in the 19th century.
Excavations and observation of spatial relationships with other earthworks of
known date demonstrate this Wolds complex of earthworks to have originated in
the later Bronze Age, with several subsequent phases of elaboration and
The monument also forms part of a broadly related and extensive complex of
multi-period prehistoric earthworks, including bowl barrows, barrow
cemeteries, linear bank and ditch systems, trackways and enclosures dispersed
across Huggate and Warter Wolds, Huggate and Millington Pastures.
At its most northerly end, the monument includes a 600m long section of single
bank and ditch which runs along the northern side of Huggate Pasture, and
which at its western end is parallel with another 200m long complex of four
parallel banks and three intervening ditches running immediately to the south.
At this point, the overall complex is five banks wide in total.
This northerly section of bank and ditch is up to a total of 8m wide, with the
bank lying to the south of the ditch. At its eastern end it forms an original
terminus and junction with the section of linear bank and ditch running due
north west along York Lane, which is the subject of a separate scheduling. The
junction of the two systems has been cut by a later trackway, still in use,
which prevents a proper understanding of the relationship between the two
monuments at this point. At this eastern end, the bank is up to 3m wide and is
upstanding to a height of around a 1m, while the ditch is between 1m and 1.5m
deep, and `U' shaped in profile, measuring approximately 1.5m-2m at its base,
and between 4m and 5m at its top. Further westwards, the trackway
overlies the bank, and has considerably flattened it through the course of
time, so that it is level with the top of the ditch. It is 3m wide here,
whilst the ditch to the north is 5m wise at its top and 2m wide at its base,
still retaining a `U' shaped profile.
The 200m long triple ditch - quadruple bank section of the monument at the
western end by the head of Frendal Dale is up to 40m wide, and each bank
component is between 2.5m and 4m wide at its base, and 1m-1.25m broad across
its top, whilst the height is between 1m and 1.5m maximum. The ditches are `U'
shaped and vary between 2m and 3.5m in width at their base. Half way along the
length of this multiple section is a break in the system about 4m-5m wide,
affording an `entrance', where the banks and ditches are cut by a causeway,
which is later in date and probably of the medieval period. Here the banks
reach heights of up to 1.5m, whilst the intervening ditches reach their
broadest width of up to 3.5m. The easternmost end of this triple ditch -
quadruple bank complex is cut by the modern fenceline and a trackway leading
south, towards fields in Huggate Pasture. Here aerial photography provides
clear evidence that this is not an original terminus of the system, as a
continuation of this complex eastwards in the direction of Horse Dale, at
least as far as York Lane, can be observed in crop and soil marks, although
this section of the monument has been levelled by agricultural activity over
the course of the years. This section of the earthwork is included in the
scheduling because of the rarity, importance and inter-relationship of the
multiple section of banks and ditches, and as archaeological deposits will
still survive in the buried ditches.
Along the southern line, the last bank dips down the hillslope slightly before
rising gradually to meet the line of fields on Huggate Pasture. This bank
continues on to become the top one of two long single sections of bank and
ditch leading south west along Frendal Dale. This is the one running south
west along the top of the scarp; the second lies mid way down the side of the
dry valley of Frendal Dale.
This first bank runs nearly the length of Frendal Dale along the top of the
escarpment here, and varies between 0.5m and 1.5m in height, being
approximately 4m wide at its base, and 1m wide across its top. The `U' shaped
ditch lies to the east, between the top of the escarpment and the bank, and is
about 2m-2.5m wide. The bank and ditch together are about 1100m long overall,
but become far less clearly defined at the southernmost end, finally
disappearing altogether. It is unlikely that this end of the monument
represents an original terminus however.
The system is partly discontinuous throughout its length, livestock having cut
channels at different places, and it is also broken at one point by a later
causeway giving access to a field gate, and again where it is joined by
another branch of the bank and ditch system which falls away to the west into
the bottom of Frendal Dale.
The second single dyke component which lies half way down the dry valley side
is much slighter than the first, and far less clearly defined, with average
heights of around 0.5m, and around 3m wide at base. It leads off from a
central bank of the quadruple bank complex and follows the line of the dry
valley nearly due south, before it too, intersects with the arm of the short
bank dropping down into Frendal Dale close to its junction with the first, top
bank and ditch. This short arm, about 200m in length, is composed of another
section of bank and ditch, the bank being 1m-1.25m high and up to 4m broad at
base, which intersects with the main section of bank and ditch along the
escarpment top. Its shallow, nearly infilled ditch lies to the south of the
Adjacent sections of the dyke lying along the north western side of Frendal
Dale and leading off into Tun Dale are the subject of separate schedulings.
Modern post and wire fencing and animal feed and water dispensers are excluded
from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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

Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or
multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between
less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features
visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The
evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that
their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although
they may have been re-used later.
The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were
constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries
in the landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of
their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious
associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those
groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance
for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age; all well
preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.

The monument is part of a very extensive and important system of linear
boundary dykes in this area of the Yorkshire Wolds, dating back to the Bronze
Age. It is very well preserved, and is considered to be a particularly fine
example of an elaborate complex of multiple banks and ditches. As such it
offers important insights into ancient land use and territorial divisions for
social, ritual and agricultural purposes in this region.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), 365-380
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), 365-380
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), 365-80
Dent, J, 'Archaeological Journal' in The Yorkshire Dykes, (1984), 32-33
Dent, J, 'Archaeological Journal' in The Yorkshire Dykes, (1984), 32-33
Halkon, P, 'Prehistory Research Section Bulletin' in The Huggate Dykes, , Vol. 30, (1993), 10
Manby, T, 'Current Archaeology' in The Yorkshire Dykes, , Vol. 67, (1979), 233
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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