Ancient Monuments

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Nutholm cross dyke, 100m south of Appleton Mill Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Appleton-le-Moors, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2799 / 54°16'47"N

Longitude: -0.8552 / 0°51'18"W

OS Eastings: 474636.855241

OS Northings: 487744.886718

OS Grid: SE746877

Mapcode National: GBR QLGY.NJ

Mapcode Global: WHF9N.TPZ9

Entry Name: Nutholm cross dyke, 100m south of Appleton Mill Farm

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018596

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30155

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Appleton-le-Moors

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Cropton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a cross dyke, a
prehistoric boundary, located 180m ESE of Nutholm Wrath, a ford across the
River Seven.
The cross dyke is formed by a bank and ditch which runs for 100m NNE to SSW
across a steep sided WNW pointing hill spur above the flood plain of the River
Seven. The bank is immediately adjacent to the ditch so that it forms its
western, downhill side. As a result, the profile of the bank is not
symmetrical so that its eastern side is steeper than its western side. The
ditch is 7m wide and typically 1m deep, with the bank rising up to 1.2m from
the base of the ditch. The whole earthwork is 11m wide. The northern end of
the cross dyke ends at the sheer cliff above the river. The southern end
peters out just beyond a steepening of the downhill slope. Both ends are
considered to be original features. Across the centre of the cross dyke there
is a causeway which is also considered to be an original feature of the
The causeway is now used by a public bridleway which runs down the spine of
the ridge to the ford. From this causeway a footpath runs southwards along the
bottom of the cross dyke's ditch.

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.

The full extent of Nutholm cross dyke is considered to survive in earthwork
form and is thus a very well preserved example.

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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