Ancient Monuments

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Blackpark cross dyke and standing stone, 330m north east of Blackpark Lodge

A Scheduled Monument in Cropton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3094 / 54°18'34"N

Longitude: -0.844 / 0°50'38"W

OS Eastings: 475309.530349

OS Northings: 491043.375075

OS Grid: SE753910

Mapcode National: GBR QLKL.2Y

Mapcode Global: WHF9H.0YC5

Entry Name: Blackpark cross dyke and standing stone, 330m north east of Blackpark Lodge

Scheduled Date: 21 June 1973

Last Amended: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018594

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30153

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Cropton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Cropton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument, which is in three areas of protection, includes a prehistoric
standing stone and the associated buried and earthwork remains of a cross
dyke, a prehistoric boundary feature.
The cross dyke survives as two short sections of earthwork either side of the
metalled road to Spiers House. This road is well defined and cut through the
cross dyke which is located on a slight rise. The cross dyke is orientated
north west to south east and is formed by a bank and ditch with the ditch on
the north eastern side. The bank is asymmetrical in profile with a steeper
face on the side which merges with the profile of the ditch. The bank is 5m
wide and up to 0.6m high with the ditch 3m wide and 0.4m deep. Thus in places
the distance between the base of the ditch and bank top is up to 1m. The
section on the west side of the road is 10m long and has been truncated at its
north western end by modern forestry operations. The section on the east side
of the road is longer, measuring 25m and is considered to retain its original
south eastern end. Lying on the top of the north eastern side of the ditch,
just to the west of the road, is a large stone 1m by 0.6m and at least 0.2m
thick. This is of a similar stone to the standing stone that is located 30m
beyond the south east end of the cross dyke. The standing stone is roughly a
rectangular slab 1.1m wide, 0.4m thick with a height of 1.3m exposed above the
ground surface.
It is orientated so that the largest faces look due north and south. It is
located directly in line with the top of the north east side of the ditch of
the cross dyke and is considered to be part of the same prehistoric boundary
feature. Two further stones lie in line with the cross dyke's ditch 120m to
the south east of the standing stone. These stones measure 1.2m by 0.3m by
0.2m and 0.8m by 0.4m by 0.3m and lie several metres apart about 4m from the
edge of Little Beck stream gully. These last two stones are considered to also
have been part of the prehistoric linear boundary, but they are no longer in
their original settings and thus are not included in the scheduling.

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

Cross dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.2km and 1km
long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to one or
more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across ridges
and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on aerial
photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation and
analogy with associated monuments demonstrates that their construction spans
the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used
later. Current information favours the view that they were used as territorial
boundary markers, probably demarcating land allotment within communities,
although they may also have been used as trackways, cattle droveways or
defensive earthworks. Cross dykes are one of the few monument types which
illustrate how land was divided up in the prehistoric period. They are of
considerable importance for any analysis of settlement and land use in the
Bronze Age. Very few have survived to the present day and hence all well-
preserved examples are considered to be of national importance.

Standing stones are prehistoric ritual or ceremonial monuments with dates
ranging from the Late Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age for the few
excavated examples. They comprise of single or paired upright orthostatic
slabs, ranging from under 1m to over 6m when still erect. They are often
conspicuously sighted and close to other monument classes. They can be
accompanied by various features: many occur in or on the edge of round
barrows and, where excavated, associated sub-surface features have included
stone cists, stone settings and various pits filled with earth containing
human bone, cremations, flints and pottery. Similar deposits have been found
in the excavated sockets for standing stones which range considerably in
depth. Several standing stones also bear cup and ring marks. Standing stones
have functioned as markers for route ways, territories, graves, or meeting
points, but their accompanying features show that they also bore a ritual
function. No national survey of standing stones has been undertaken, and
estimates range from 50 to 250 extant examples, widely distributed throughout
England but with concentrations in Cornwall, the North Yorkshire Moors,
Cumbria, Derbyshire and the Cotswolds. Standing stones are important as
nationally rare monuments, with a high longevity of use and demonstrate the
diversity of ritual practices in the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age.
Consequently, all undisturbed standing stones and those that represent the
main range of types and locations are considered to be of national importance.
Blackpark cross dyke and standing stone provide valuable information about the
local Bronze Age landscape. They will also include buried deposits of soil
which will preserve information about the Bronze Age environment, including
details about the local vegetation which, combined with data from other sites
in the region, will provide an increased understanding of the prehistory of
the Tabular Hills and North York Moors.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Spratt, D A, Linear Earthworks of the Tabular Hills: North East Yorkshire, (1989), 24

Source: Historic England

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