Ancient Monuments

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Sections of multiple linear dykes 125m south west of Cot Nab Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Kirby Underdale, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0005 / 54°0'1"N

Longitude: -0.7562 / 0°45'22"W

OS Eastings: 481624.442851

OS Northings: 456767.767388

OS Grid: SE816567

Mapcode National: GBR RQ55.2P

Mapcode Global: WHFC2.CQ40

Entry Name: Sections of multiple linear dykes 125m south west of Cot Nab Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 September 1958

Last Amended: 8 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015611

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26593

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Kirby Underdale

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Bishop Wilton St Edith

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a triple complex of Bronze Age multiple linear boundary banks and ditches(also known as dykes)lying at the head of Deep Dale on Garrowby Wold,100m south west of Cot Nab Farm.The monument is a surviving part 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.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 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 Bishop Wilton and Callis Wold,Millington,Huggate and Warter Wolds and Huggate and Millington Pastures.The monument includes three related complexes of dykes,the first and best surviving of which commences just south of the A166 `Garrowby Street' as a massive system of four parallel banks and four intervening ditches.This dyke is cut through by a farm access road.The A166 `Garrowby Street' divides this dyke from the double bank and ditch complex lying 40m to the north which is the subject of a separate scheduling.This first complex of dykes includes four banks of variable height and width,interspersed with four ditches,similarly of variable width and depth.In all cases the depth of the flanking ditches serves to augment the height and steepness of the banks.The banks are between 1m and 2.5m high,and are generally 1m broad across their tops and between 3m-6m wide across the base,whilst the ditches are generally between 1.5m and 2m wide at their base,and are usually `U' shaped in profile,although in some places they become more`V' shaped.The two banks and their associated ditches lying to the eastern side of the first dyke complex have been partly destroyed by a large circular dew pond.A 40m length of these banks survives but they may once have continued further south,as the remains of a short section and an original terminus of a low bank appears beyond the dew pond towards the head of Deep Dale further to the south.The eastern side of a third bank touches the side of the dew pond,and the fourth bank,the most westerly of this system,is overlain by a field boundary and modern plantation,which obscures its line.The banks here survive to a greater length,with the fourth bank being about 70m long.The third and fourth banks of this complex curve to the south west towards their southern ends where they meet the ends of the banks of the second dyke complex which is oriented east-west in the fields to the north of Bishop Wilton Wold.The large circular dew pond has unfortunately disrupted the original junction between these features and therefore destroyed the relationship of the three systems which meet here.A short section of bank to the south of the dew pond may once have belonged to the second dyke complex,but later damage to the dykes along the line of the field boundary has served to disturb the nature of the relationship between these complexes.However,the end of the second system shows the original terminals of at least four banks with intervening ditches converging towards each other before meeting with the ends of the first dyke complex.Here the banks range in height from 1m-1.5m and are between 1.5m and 3m in width,whilst the intervening ditches are between 1m-2m in width.To the south east and close to the eastern side of the head of Deep Dale are the surviving remains of what is thought to have been the westernmost ends of a third complex linking with the two systems just described.This third complex does not survive as well as the other two,being mostly destroyed above ground level by plantation activity,although the terminals can still be seen emerging as low parallel banks,little more than 0.5m-0.7m high,meeting the the first and second complexes in a`Y' shaped junction,strategically located at the head of Deep Dale.This third bank dyke complex is thought to have once continued eastwards as part of a system linking to boundary dykes further east towards Stone Dale and Millington Lings.The second visible multiple earthwork system terminates at a field boundary and disappears into arable fields,where it survives in the form of buried linear ditches visible from the air as crop marks,continuing due west for a length of 600m to converge with the line of the modern road `Garrowby Street',before turning south west for 500m and finally disappearing as a crop mark feature altogether.These crop mark features do not survive sufficiently well to be included in the scheduling.Modern post and wire fences and gates and the paved surface of modern access roads 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.Although the extreme western part of the monument does not survive 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 such linear dyke systems,meeting at the head of a dry valley.It is closely associated with other 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

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