Ancient Monuments

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Section of single linear boundary dyke in Horse Dale, 550m north west of Glebe Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Huggate, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.9955 / 53°59'43"N

Longitude: -0.6728 / 0°40'22"W

OS Eastings: 487103.6675

OS Northings: 456313.9751

OS Grid: SE871563

Mapcode National: GBR RQR7.4G

Mapcode Global: WHGD7.MTTT

Entry Name: Section of single linear boundary dyke in Horse Dale, 550m north west of Glebe Farm

Scheduled Date: 17 December 1929

Last Amended: 18 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015565

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26580

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Huggate

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 a 1km long section of Bronze Age linear boundary bank
and ditch (also known as a dyke) lying just below the break of slope along the
southern edge of Horse Dale, south of Huggate Wold.
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 a
long section of single linear bank and ditch running approximately north east-
south west between two elaborate complexes of dykes, one a kilometre further
to the west along Huggate Pasture in Frendal Dale and at its junction with Tun
Dale, and the other to the east at the junction of the three dry valleys of
Horse Dale, Holm Dale and Harper Dale. At its eastern end, this section of
bank and ditch adjoins a further double complex of linear banks and ditches
leading eastward and converging upon the junction of the three dry valleys. As
such, it is not a discrete monument, as neither its eastern or western ends
are thought to have been original terminals, but are believed to have once
formed a continuous length of boundary banks and ditches linking the eastern
and western complexes described above. These dykes were used to enhance the
natural topographical barriers of spurs and escarpments between valleys, with
additional physical barriers of both banks and ditches. Natural conduits
along the floors of dry valleys were then `blocked' by other bank and ditch
systems acting 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 boundary earthworks or is one of the best preserved
remnants of the original more extensive systems recorded and mapped as
extending across large areas of the Wolds 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.
The monument includes a low bank augmenting the break of slope along the large
and steep dry valley system here. It is variable in height, and for most of
its length is rarely above 1m in height and around 2m-3m wide. The presence of
a pathway used by grazing sheep has probably resulted in the natural erosion
of the bank to its present flattened appearance. The ditch, which is now
largely infilled, lies to the south between the bank and the fence lying along
the top of the slope, and is about 2m wide.
Modern post and wire fencing separating the monument from arable farmland to
the south east and pasture to the north west is excluded from the scheduling
as are animal feed and water troughs, although the ground beneath them is

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 survives as a visible earthwork feature, and is closely associated
with other adjacent complexes of linear banks and ditches, which together form
an integral system of boundary and defensive earthworks in this region. As
such it offers important insights into ancient land use and territorial
divisions for social, ritual and agricultural purposes in this area of the
Yorkshire Wolds.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Mortimer, J R , Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds of East Yorkshire, (1905), 365-380
Dent, J, 'Archaeological Journal' in The Yorkshire Dykes, , Vol. 141, (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)

Source: Historic England

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