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Length of linear earthwork, part of the Aberford Dyke system, at Green Hill between Aberford and the Aberford By-pass

A Scheduled Monument in Aberford, Leeds

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Latitude: 53.8334 / 53°50'0"N

Longitude: -1.3405 / 1°20'25"W

OS Eastings: 443497.901478

OS Northings: 437663.941286

OS Grid: SE434376

Mapcode National: GBR MS23.KK

Mapcode Global: WHDBF.CXW3

Entry Name: Length of linear earthwork, part of the Aberford Dyke system, at Green Hill between Aberford and the Aberford By-pass

Scheduled Date: 27 September 1949

Last Amended: 25 June 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016952

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31517

County: Leeds

Civil Parish: Aberford

Built-Up Area: Aberford

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Aberford St Ricarius

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes a length of the linear earthworks at Green Hill, which
is part of the Aberford Dyke system. It runs NNE from Sydenham House in
Aberford, along Field Lane to the A1 Aberford By-pass. In the southern part of
this length the bank runs along the top of a steep scarp on the east side of
Field Lane. The ditch at this point is obscured by a track at the base of the
scarp, and is not visible as a surface feature. North of this, a substantial
bank up to 2.5m high is visible in the grounds of Glebe Bungalow. The ditch is
also visible at this point and is 9m wide and 0.4m deep. After a break at a
gate, the bank continues northwards to the Aberford By-pass, with Field Lane
now on the crest of the bank. The level of the bank has been built up, close
to the Aberford By-pass, to bring the level of Field Lane up to that of the
road. Although the ditch does not survive as a surface feature for much of
this length of earthwork, excavation has shown that it does survive as a
buried feature between 1m-2m deep. The revetment wall at the base of the scarp
at the allotments north of Sydenham House is included in the scheduling.
All fences, walls (apart from the revetment wall), buildings and garden
fixtures are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these
features 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 Aberford Dykes are substantial linear earthworks situated in North and
West Yorkshire, east of Leeds. They lie north and south of Cock Beck with the
modern village of Aberford at their approximate centre.
They are visible as rock-cut ditches and banks. Most of the earthworks run
approximately east-west. The ditch is on the south side of the bank and some
parts of the earthworks have an additional counterscarp bank on the same side.
The earthworks north of Cock Beck (including sections known as The Ridge,
Becca Banks and the earthwork at Field Lane) mostly occupy commanding
positions at the top of the scarp and may once have formed a single boundary.
The earthworks south of Cock Beck include the South Dyke which occupies the
top of the scarp above the beck and, crossing it, Woodhouse Moor Rein,
running north east-south west along a low rounded ridge.
The Aberford Dykes have been identified as defences of the British kingdom of
Elmet against the Anglo-Saxons in the late sixth and early seventh centuries,
or as boundaries to defend the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Deira against the
Mercians in the seventh century AD. They have also been interpreted as dykes
built to defend the territories of the Brigantes against the advance of the
Roman Empire in the first century AD. There is no documentary evidence for the
date of the Dykes, however, and firm archaeological dating evidence is sparse.
They may not all belong to one period but relate to a number of different
events. The style of construction has parallels in both the Roman and the
early post-Roman periods. Excavation at Field Lane retrieved Roman period
pottery from deposits associated with the silting up of the ditch. It is
therefore likely that, here at least, the ditch was open during the Roman
The size and extent of the Aberford Dykes imply a considerable expenditure of
time and labour, suggesting a degree of social organisation at the time of
their construction and a strong concern for territorial control, whether
military, organisational or symbolic. All known lengths of the Aberford Dykes
where significant archaeological deposits are likely to survive are considered
to be nationally important.

The length of linear earthwork, part of the Aberford Dyke system, at Green
Hill between Aberford and the Aberford By-pass survives well, and will
preserve significant archaeological information on the Roman and post-Roman

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
WYAS, , A1-M1 Link Road, (1997)

Source: Historic England

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