Ancient Monuments

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Pit alignment, part of the Cleave Dyke prehistoric boundary system and round barrow 450m south east of High Paradise

A Scheduled Monument in Boltby, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2884 / 54°17'18"N

Longitude: -1.2239 / 1°13'26"W

OS Eastings: 450618.088906

OS Northings: 488367.604389

OS Grid: SE506883

Mapcode National: GBR MLWV.TG

Mapcode Global: WHD8C.5GGR

Entry Name: Pit alignment, part of the Cleave Dyke prehistoric boundary system and round barrow 450m south east of High Paradise

Scheduled Date: 3 January 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015576

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26942

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Boltby

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes a pit alignment which forms part of the prehistoric
linear boundary system on the Hambleton Hills, known as the Cleave Dyke. Also
included are the buried remains of a round barrow.
Orientated north to south and parallel to the scarp slope, the monument
extends for 475m. The pit alignment is composed of a single line of elongated
pits each c.1.5m in length and clearly visible on aerial photographs. The pit
alignment swings around an earlier round barrow 100m north from the south end.
This barrow had an earth and stone mound 10m in diameter and was surrounded by
a ditch up to 3m wide. The barrow has been reduced by agricultural activity
and is no longer visible as an earthwork, although the remains of the mound
and the encircling ditch are clearly visible on aerial photographs.
The pit alignment is part of a wider system of prehistoric linear earthworks
continuing for 9km north to south along the western edge of the Hambleton
Hills. Shorter east to west earthworks linked valley heads to the main dyke
and thus divided the terrain into discrete units for agricultural and social
purposes. The dyke is associated with earlier round barrows which also marked
the division of land. Together the monuments on this area of the Hambleton
Hills provide important evidence of territorial organisation and the
development of settled agricultural practices.
Modern walls and fences 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.

Pit alignments are associated with various sections of the Cleave Dyke System
and are considered to be a variation of the form but continue the function of
the dyke system. Although no longer visible as surface features the pits are
clearly visible on aerial photographs and will contain important
archaeological remains.
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 they provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social
organisations amongst early prehistoric communities.
Although the round barrow included in the monument is much reduced by
agricultural activity, 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 boundaries 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, , Vol. VOL 54, (1982), 33-52

Source: Historic England

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