Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Prehistoric linear boundary in Craddlegrip Wood, 900m north west of High Yedmandale

A Scheduled Monument in West Ayton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2731 / 54°16'23"N

Longitude: -0.5192 / 0°31'9"W

OS Eastings: 496523.871214

OS Northings: 487392.764432

OS Grid: SE965873

Mapcode National: GBR SMT0.DZ

Mapcode Global: WHGBZ.0V1K

Entry Name: Prehistoric linear boundary in Craddlegrip Wood, 900m north west of High Yedmandale

Scheduled Date: 9 May 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017165

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33735

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: West Ayton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Hutton Buscell St Matthew

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes part of a linear boundary situated towards the northern
edge of the Tabular Hills.
The surviving part of the boundary is about 130m long and runs to the ENE from
the top of the west-facing slope into Yedman Dale, turning slightly more to
the east at the eastern end. It has a ditch which runs between two banks,
constructed from earth and stone. Originally the boundary would have had an
overall width of up to 16m, but the northern bank has largely been ploughed
level so that now the width of the upstanding earthworks is no more than 11m.
The ditch is up to 6.5m wide and 1.5m deep, measured from the top of the
banks. The southern bank stands up to 1m high and the edge of the northern
bank stands up to 0.5m high.
The monument forms part of a network of prehistoric linear boundaries
surrounded by a dense concentration of other prehistoric monuments, including
burials and settlement sites.
All fence posts 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 Tabular Hills in the Wykeham Forest area contain a dense concentration of
prehistoric monuments, dating from the Neolithic to the Iron Age, which
includes field systems, enclosures and land boundaries as well as both round
and square barrows. The spatial and chronological relationships between the
round and square barrows in this area, and between both types of barrow and
other prehistoric monuments, are of considerable importance for understanding
the development of later prehistoric society in eastern Yorkshire.
Despite limited disturbance, the section of linear boundary in Craddlegrip
Wood survives well. Important environmental evidence which can be used to date
the boundary and determine contemporary land use will be preserved within the
lowest ditch fills. Evidence for earlier land use will be preserved in the old
ground surface beneath the banks. The linear boundary belongs to a network of
prehistoric boundaries, dividing the area between Troutsdale in the west and
the Derwent valley in the east. It is thought to represent a system of
territorial land division which was constructed to augment natural divisions
of the landscape by river valleys and watersheds and it is one of many such
groups found on the Tabular Hills. Networks such as these offer important
scope for the study of land use for social, ritual and agricultural purposes
during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Spratt, D A, Linear Earthworks of the Tabular Hills: North East Yorkshire, (1989), 54-59

Source: Historic England

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