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Section of a single and double linear boundary dyke in Horse Dale, and the junctions of Holm Dale and Harper Dale, north west of Northfield Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Huggate, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.003 / 54°0'10"N

Longitude: -0.6554 / 0°39'19"W

OS Eastings: 488230.352139

OS Northings: 457161.723765

OS Grid: SE882571

Mapcode National: GBR RQV4.XS

Mapcode Global: WHGD7.XN34

Entry Name: Section of a single and double linear boundary dyke in Horse Dale, and the junctions of Holm Dale and Harper Dale, north west of Northfield Farm

Scheduled Date: 17 December 1929

Last Amended: 18 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015566

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26581

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

Details

The monument includes a 1.7km long section of Bronze Age single and double
linear boundary bank and ditch (also known as a dyke) running just below the
break of slope along the southern edge of Horse Dale, and part of Harper Dale,
leading down into a section of multiple banks at the junction of the three dry
valleys of Horse, Holm and Harper Dales.
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 forms a
long section of linear banks and ditches running approximately north east-
south west, linking the elaborate complex of dykes at the junction of Holm,
Horse and Harper Dales, with other complexes further to the west along Huggate
Pasture in Frendal Dale and its junction with Tun Dale, and further to the
east along Harper Dale towards Middleham Plantation. 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 acting to control access, as is the case with this system, as it
drops down into the bottom of Harper Dale, and links with the opposing system
of dykes on the northern side of Harper Dale, and in Holm Dale.
Well-preserved sections of these linear boundaries are the subject of separate
schedulings, and in some cases, adjacent monuments may physically abut.
This elaborate complex of boundary earthworks 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
augmentation.
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, and Huggate and Millington Pastures.
At its western end, a 300m long section of single bank and ditch adjoins a
further single linear bank and ditch system leading westward along the
southern edge of Horse Dale, eventually joining up with the western complex in
Frendal Dale. The single bank and ditch lies around 50m below the break in
slope and is rarely above a metre in height, and is between 2m-3m wide. Its
ditch, now largely infilled, lies to the south east. The bank and ditch
together curve from the south in an original junction to link with the bank of
the adjacent section, which is the subject of a separate scheduling.
The 300m long single bank adjoins the second, lower section of the double bank
system to the east, which then continues for much of its length as two
parallel sets of banks and ditches, the first lying just below the break of
slope following the southern edge of Horse Dale eastwards, the second lying
between 30m and 50m below the break in slope, and an average of 20m-30m below
the first bank. They separate into two distinctly forked systems just before
the confluence of the three dry valleys, with one still keeping the edge of
slope, and the other plunging down the side of the dry valley into the actual
base at the junction of the three valleys, where it forms an original junction
with two further, short sections of bank lying to the east along the side and
towards the base of the head of Harper Dale. In addition, it also links up
with the opposing system on the northern side of the head of Harper Dale
which leads north into Holm Dale, and is also the subject of separate
schedulings. As such, this section is not a discrete monument, as neither its
eastern or western ends are thought to have been original termini, but are
believed to have once formed a continuous length of boundary banks and ditches
linking the eastern and western complexes described above. Adjacent and
related sections of dyke are the subject of separate schedulings.
The first, upper bank of the double section which follows the break in slope
is variable in height, ranging from between 1m-1.5m in height and around 3m-4m
wide at base. Its ditch lies to the south, between the bank and the slope
break, and is shallow, nearly infilled, and `U' shaped, being around 2m wide.
The second bank, lying between 30m and 50m lower down the valley side, is
lower than the first in places, being around 0.75m-1m high and 2m-3m wide, and
its shallow, `U' shaped ditch, around 2m wide, lies between it and the first
bank. Neither first nor second banks are wholly continuous, but are either
`broken' in places, or else reduced in height and therefore difficult to see,
although on the whole their preservation is good. Where the second bank drops
into the confluence of the three dry valleys, and adjoins two further short
sections of bank to the east, these banks are less well preserved and less
clear, being around 0.5m in height and 2m wide, with no clear ditch. They fade
out 350m to the east and become invisible.
Modern post and wire fencing, animal feed and water dispensers and other
modern farm constructions and equipment are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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 well preserved and one of the rare surviving examples of double
bank and ditch complexes, directly linking to 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

Sources

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
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, (1993), 10
Halkon, P, 'Prehistory Research Section Bulletin' in The Huggate Dykes, (1993), 10
Manby, T, 'Current Archaeology' in The Yorkshire Dykes, , Vol. 67, (1979), 233
Other
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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