Ancient Monuments

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Cross ridge dyke, 800m east of Bleaklow

A Scheduled Monument in Hassop, Derbyshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2585 / 53°15'30"N

Longitude: -1.6632 / 1°39'47"W

OS Eastings: 422562.469673

OS Northings: 373547.765368

OS Grid: SK225735

Mapcode National: GBR JZTR.QN

Mapcode Global: WHCD1.FC6B

Entry Name: Cross ridge dyke, 800m east of Bleaklow

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018476

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31229

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Hassop

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Curbar All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Derby

Details

The monument includes a double ditch and bank earthwork situated on a
limestone ridge overlooking the village of Calver. It occupies a defensive or
demarcatory position across the ridge on the edge of the limestone plateau of
the Peak District. Such earthworks are often referred to as 'dykes'.
The earthwork is orientated north-south and comprises a central bank
approximately 4.5m wide with a ditch of similar width to either side. The
whole earthwork is about 14m wide and rises approximately 2m from the base
of the ditches to the top of the central bank. Although truncated by a
trackway, there appear to be traces of a further bank on the eastern side. The
earthwork survives in relatively good condition for about 60m from a trackway
which defines its northern end. The trackway may have truncated the northern
extent of the earthwork, but this is uncertain. At its southern end, the
earthwork has been disturbed by mineral extraction to the extent that its
original length is unknown.
At approximately 40m from the northern end of the earthwork is a break in the
banks which may have been original: the earthworks curve slightly inwards at
this point. Although there is now no trace of an approach from the eastern
side, a hollow way rises from the break to the west which appears to pre-date
the enclosure of the surrounding land.
The earthwork is interpreted as a defensive or demarcation measure constructed
across the ridgeway during the post-Roman period. Its location on the edge of
the limestone region of the Peak is similar to that of The Grey Ditch, near
Bradwell, which is dated by archaeological means to this period. Historical
and archaeological evidence indicates that the earthwork separated land to the
west, occupied in the 'Dark Ages' by the Pecsaetna, from that of the North
Mercians.
All modern walls, gates, fences and posts, and the metalling of trackways, are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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

A small number of substantial and defensible boundary features have been
identified as frontier works marking territories in the early medieval period.
Up to 50 examples are known with a fairly wide distribution across England,
including examples in southern England, East Anglia, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and
along the Welsh border.
Identified remains extend over distances from as little as 300m up to as much
as 240km in the case of Offa's Dyke. They survive in the form of earthworks
and as buried features visible as cropmarks or soilmarks on aerial
photographs. They appear often to have been constructed across the natural
grain of the landscape and, although many examples consisted of a single bank
and flanking ditch, to vary considerably in their form and dimensions, even
along different stretches of the same boundary, depending upon local
topography.
Evidence from contemporary documentary sources, excavation and survey suggests
that they were constructed in the early medieval period between the fifth and
eighth centuries AD. Some were relatively ephemeral, perhaps in use for only a
few years during periods of local strife; others, such as Offa's Dyke,
constructed between Wales and Mercia, have formed long-lived territorial
and/or military boundaries in use for several centuries.
As a rare monument type of considerable importance to the study of early
medieval territorial patterns, all surviving examples are identified as
nationally important.

The cross ridge dyke 800m east of Bleaklow is important because it is one
of only two defensive or demarcation measures from this period which relates
to the limestone areas of the Peak District.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Barnatt, J, Smith, K, The Peak District, (1997), 53-5

Source: Historic England

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