Ancient Monuments

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Section of linear boundary dyke 390m west of South Wold Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Kirby Underdale, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0037 / 54°0'13"N

Longitude: -0.7566 / 0°45'23"W

OS Eastings: 481593.438571

OS Northings: 457119.117114

OS Grid: SE815571

Mapcode National: GBR RQ44.ZK

Mapcode Global: WHFC2.BMYL

Entry Name: Section of linear boundary dyke 390m west of South Wold Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 September 1958

Last Amended: 8 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015610

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26592

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Kirby Underdale

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Kirby Underdale All Saints

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a 440m long section of Bronze Age linear boundary bank
and ditches (also known as a dyke) running north-south on Garrowby Wold,
400m west of South Wold Farm.
The monument is a surviving component of an elaborate complex of boundary
dykes found scattered across the Yorkshire Wolds, single components
of which run either along the top of the escarpments, or part the way down the
sides of the intervening dry valley systems in this area. 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.
The elaborate complex of boundary earthworks located on Garrowby, Bishop
Wilton, Callis, Millington and Huggate Wolds is 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 observations of spatial relationships between these and 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 Bishop Wilton and Callis Wold, Millington, Huggate and Warter Wolds and
Huggate and Millington Pastures.
The monument includes a complex which is orientated approximately north-
south. A short section of single bank at the southern end is between 1m-1.25m
high, up to 4m wide at its base and 2m broad across its top. The bank divides
to become a double bank complex, with the ditch centrally placed. The eastern
bank varies between 0.5m and 1.25m in height and is 6m-7m broad at its base,
and up to 2m wide at its top. The western bank is lower overall, being up to
0.7m high in places, and 4m-5m wide at its base. The central ditch dividing
them is up to 1.75m in depth in places and has a `U' shaped profile, being
2.5m wide at the bottom and up to 4m wide at its top.
At its northern end the visible earthwork linear dyke disappears into arable
fields, where its ditch survives and continues for a length of 200m as a
buried feature, visible from the air as crop marks of cultivation. Neither end
of the monument is interpreted as being an original terminal. The dyke will
once have formed part of a longer section of boundary dykes in this area of
the Yorkshire Wolds. The southern end of the monument would once have joined
sections of multiple boundary dyke lying to the south of the A166, Garrowby
Street, which are the subject of a seperate scheduling.
Modern post and wire fences and gates 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. Although the extreme northern part of the monument has been levelled
above ground level, archaeological remains will survive in the buried ditches
below ground here. However, much of the monument survives well as a
significant earthwork feature, and moreover is a rare example of a junction of
multiple bank and ditch linear dyke systems, meeting at the head of a dry
valley. It is closely associated with other 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

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