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Section of the Cleave Dyke system known as Hesketh Dike and Silver Hill round barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Hawnby, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2832 / 54°16'59"N

Longitude: -1.2133 / 1°12'47"W

OS Eastings: 451313.357041

OS Northings: 487787.353337

OS Grid: SE513877

Mapcode National: GBR MLZX.3C

Mapcode Global: WHD8C.BLGT

Entry Name: Section of the Cleave Dyke system known as Hesketh Dike and Silver Hill round barrow

Scheduled Date: 28 February 1964

Last Amended: 3 January 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015575

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24454

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Hawnby

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes a section of prehistoric linear boundary known as
the Hesketh Dike which incorporates an earlier round barrow. It is part of a
wider system of such linear boundaries known as the Cleave Dyke. Hesketh Dike
extends for 1000m eastward from the scarp edge of the Hambleton Hills
to the head of Sledhill Gill. To the east of the Hawnby Road the dyke
comprises two sections of earthworks meeting at and overlying the west and
east flanks of the round barrow situated 100m east of the road. The eastern
section extends for 650m and has a ditch up to 6m wide and 1m deep between two
flanking banks up to 7m wide and between 0.8m and 1.5m high. At the east end
only the ditch is visible as an earthwork. West of the barrow the dyke has a
single bank 15m wide and between 0.8m and 2m high with a ditch up to 6m wide.
The ditch is a continuous feature common to both sections of earthworks which
crosses the northern edge of the barrow. At the western end of this section,
the dyke is truncated by the road although the ditch is preserved beneath the
road surface. To the west of the road only the ditch is visible as an
earthwork which extends for a further 60m to the west where it is truncated by
the trackway known as the Hambleton Road. There is a 5m length of bank and
ditch at the west verge of the Hambleton Road. The western section of the dyke
beyond the Hambleton Road has been reduced by agricultural activity and
although it is no longer identifiable as an earthwork, it is clearly visible
on aerial photographs.
The east end is the original termination of the Hesketh Dike but at the west
end the dyke originally extended for a further 20m but this end has since been
altered by forest plantation, is no longer clearly identifiable, and is not
included in the scheduling.
Silver Hill round barrow has a well-defined mound standing 1.5m high. It is
round in shape and 18m in diameter. There is a hollow in the centre of the
mound resulting from a part excavation in 1864. The mound was surrounded by
a ditch up to 3m wide which is no longer visible as an earthwork.
Hesketh Dike is part of a wider system of prehistoric linear earthworks and
earlier round barrows extending for 9km north-south along the western edge of
the Hambleton Hills. They provide evidence of territorial organisation marking
the division of land; divisions which still remain as some parish or township
The surfaces of the road and the track and the stone walls 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

The Cleave Dyke system is the most westerly of a series of dyke systems on the
Tabular Hills of north east Yorkshire. The name has been given to a series of
linear ditches and banks stretching north-south over 9km parallel with and
close to the western scarp of the Hambleton Hills. The system was constructed
between the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age to augment the natural division
of the terrain by river valleys and watersheds. Significant stretches remain
visible as upstanding earthworks; elsewhere it can be recognised as a cropmark
on aerial photographs. The system formed a prehistoric territorial boundary in
an area largely given over to pastoralism; the impressive scale of the
earthworks displays the corporate prestige of their builders. In some
instances the boundaries have remained in use to the present day. Linear
boundaries are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and
land use in the later prehistoric period; all well preserved examples will
normally merit statutory protection.

This section of the Cleave Dyke system is an almost complete section extending
from the scarp edge to the valley head. For much of the length it survives as
a well preserved earthwork and, although it has been reduced by agricultural
activity, significant archaeological evidence will be retained throughout the
monument. The Boltby to Hawnby Road and the Hambleton Road are both considered
to be ancient routes and those places where they pass through the line of the
dyke will retain important information about their relationship to the dyke.
Round barrows are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to
the Late Bronze Age. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds,
sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. Often occupying
prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape
and provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social
organisations amongst early prehistoric communities.
Silver Hill round barrow survives well, and significant information about the
original form, burials placed within it and evidence of earlier land use
beneath the mound will be preserved. It is known to have been constructed
before the dyke, and in common with other similar round barrows on the
Hambleton Hills, is thought to mark an early boundary. There are similar
associations of barrows and linear earthworks in other parts of North
Yorkshire. Such groupings of monuments offer important scope for the study of
the division of land for social, ritual and agricultural purposes in different
geographical areas during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Spratt, D A , 'The Archaeological Journal' in The Cleave Dyke System, (1982), 33-52
Spratt, D A , 'The Archaeological Journal' in The Cleave Dyke System, (1982)
Spratt, D A, 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, (1992), 134-141
Spratt, D A, 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, (1992), 134-141
Spratt, D A , 'Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in North East Yorkshire' in Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North East Yorkshire, , Vol. BAR 104, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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