Ancient Monuments

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Meg Dike late prehistoric enclosed settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Ripponden, Calderdale

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Latitude: 53.6539 / 53°39'13"N

Longitude: -1.926 / 1°55'33"W

OS Eastings: 404985.817821

OS Northings: 417488.323681

OS Grid: SE049174

Mapcode National: GBR GVZ5.TX

Mapcode Global: WHB8V.DF26

Entry Name: Meg Dike late prehistoric enclosed settlement

Scheduled Date: 9 January 1948

Last Amended: 19 March 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018813

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31526

County: Calderdale

Civil Parish: Ripponden

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Barkisland Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Leeds


The monument includes a late prehistioric enclosed settlement known as Meg
Dike, 150m north west of Upper Hey House. It is in two separate areas of
The enclosure has substantial banks and ditches on its south west and north
west sides. The inner bank on these sides is typically 6m wide and 1m high,
the ditch is 4m wide and 1m deep, and the outer bank is 5m wide and 1m high.
The north east side of the enclosure has been disturbed by quarrying, and
survives only as two short stretches of bank 5m wide and 0.4m high. Scammonden
Road passes through the south east part of the enclosure, and the south
eastern perimeter of the enclosure is visible south east of the road. This
consists of two banks with a ditch between them, at the edge of the road. The
outer bank passes under the fieldwall, taking the form of a curving lynchet at
the north west edge of the field.
A track leads into the enclosed settlement from the north and is probably
contemporary with it. A curving bank, 3m wide and 0.4m high, leads westwards
from the north corner of the enclosure. This may be part of a contemporary
field system.
Approximately two thirds of the interior of the enclosed settlement has been
disturbed by quarrying.
Excavations on the banks and ditch on the north west side in 1975 showed that
the ditch was cut into rock for a depth of 2.4m below the original ground
surface. The original ground surface was shown to survive below the banks, and
to have preserved evidence of possible early ploughing.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The Pennine uplands of northern England contain a wide variety of prehistoric
remains, including cairns, enclosures, carved rocks, settlements and field
systems. These are evidence of the widespread exploitation of these uplands
throughout later prehistory. During the last millennium BC a variety of
different types of enclosed settlements developed. These include hillforts,
which have substantial earthworks and are usually located on hilltops. Other
types of enclosed settlement of this period are less obviously defensive, as
they have less substantial earthworks and are usually in less prominent
positions. In the Pennines a number of late prehistoric enclosed settlements
survive as upstanding monuments. Where upstanding earthworks survive, the
settlements are between 0.4ha and 10ha in area, and are usually located on
ridges or hillside terraces. The enclosing earthworks are usually slight, most
consisting of a ditch with an internal bank, or with an internal and external
bank, but examples with an internal ditch and with no ditch are known. They
are sub-circular, sub-rectangular, or oval in shape. Few of these enclosed
settlements have been subject to systematic excavation, but they are thought
to date from between the Late Bronze Age to the Romano-British period (c.1000
BC-AD 400). Examples which have been excavated have presented evidence of
settlement. Some appear to have developed from earlier palisaded enclosures.
Unexcavated examples occasionally have levelled areas which may have contained
buildings, but a proportion may have functioned primarily as stock enclosures.
Enclosed settlements are a distinctive feature of the late prehistory of the
Pennine uplands, and are important in illustrating the variety of enclosed
settlement types which developed in many areas of Britain at this time.
Examples where a substantial proportion of the enclosed settlement survives
are considered to be nationally important.

Although the interior of the late prehistoric enclosed settlement known as Meg
Dike has been partly disturbed by quarrying, the banks and ditch survive well
and will retain important archaeological information. It therefore contributes
to the body of knowledge relating to late prehistoric settlement and land use
in northern England.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Lunn, , Crosland, , Excavation at Meg Dyke Barkisland, (1976)

Source: Historic England

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