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Section of linear boundary dyke between Sylvan Dale and Warren Farm, north west of Coldwold Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Warter, East Riding of Yorkshire

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Latitude: 53.9599 / 53°57'35"N

Longitude: -0.715 / 0°42'54"W

OS Eastings: 484408.514055

OS Northings: 452303.43583

OS Grid: SE844523

Mapcode National: GBR RQGN.06

Mapcode Global: WHFC8.ZQPL

Entry Name: Section of linear boundary dyke between Sylvan Dale and Warren Farm, north west of Coldwold Farm

Scheduled Date: 17 December 1929

Last Amended: 18 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016191

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26587

County: East Riding of Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Warter

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Riding of Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Nunburnholme St James

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes an 870m long section of Bronze Age linear boundary bank
and ditch (also known as a dyke) running approximately north east-south west
from Sylvan Dale south of Cow Moor in the north to Warren Farm between
Millington Bottom to the west and Cold Wold to the east.
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 is part
of a complex of linear banks and ditches running north from Warter Wold and
Millington Bottom through Millington Dale and up into Frendal Dale, crossing
east into Horse Dale and Harper Dale in the direction of Bottlands and
Middleham Plantation. The whole system is associated with other complexes of
linear bank and ditch systems further south along Cow Dale and Rabbit Dale,
north east of Huggate village.
These dykes were used to enhance the natural topographical barriers of spurs
and ridges between valleys, with the additional physical barriers of banks and
ditches. Natural conduits along the floors of the dry valleys were then
`blocked' by other bank and ditch systems acting to control access.
Well preserved sections of these linear boundaries are the subject of separate
schedulings, and in some cases, adjacent monuments may physically touch.
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
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.
From its southern end by Warren Farm, which is not thought to be an original
terminus, the monument runs across upland, and in this respect differs from
other related sections of dykes in this area, in that it is not located along
the brow of a valley, augmenting the break of slope as is a common feature of
these systems.
The bank is moderately well preserved and between 1m and 1.5m in height and
around 4m in width for much of its length. The ditch, which has become
infilled through time, lies to the western side of the bank, and is overlain
by a public footpath.
At the northern end of the monument the bank divides into two short parallel
sections of about 150m in length, with an intervening ditch, as it plunges
down the southern side of Sylvan Dale into the valley bottom, where it is
thought to end in an original terminus. The banks are both very well preserved
for this last section, with heights of around 1.5m-1.75m, and 4m wide at the
base of each. The intervening ditch is around 3m wide at the top end of the
slope, but the banks converge slightly as they proceed down the slope, and
hence the intervening ditch becomes narrower at the bottom, until the whole
system meets the valley floor.
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.

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 survives moderately well for most of its length, and is closely
associated with 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


Books and journals
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, , Vol. 141, (1984), 32-33
Halkon, P, 'Prehistory Research Section Bulletin' in The Huggate Dykes, , Vol. 30, (1993), 10
Manby, T, 'Current Archaeology' in The Yorkshire Dykes, , Vol. 67, (1979), 233
Humberside SMR, Sites and Monuments Records Sheet, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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