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Dyke at the north eastern end of Stone Bridge Howl, 760m north west of Court House Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Sproxton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2336 / 54°14'0"N

Longitude: -1.0938 / 1°5'37"W

OS Eastings: 459167.117708

OS Northings: 482361.419191

OS Grid: SE591823

Mapcode National: GBR NMTH.04

Mapcode Global: WHF9R.5VDC

Entry Name: Dyke at the north eastern end of Stone Bridge Howl, 760m north west of Court House Farm

Scheduled Date: 6 October 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019339

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32686

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Sproxton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Helmsley All Saints

Church of England Diocese: York


The monument includes earthwork and associated buried remains of an 85m long
section of prehistoric boundary dyke which extends between the steep valley
side of Rye Dale north eastwards to end at a sharp break of slope immediately
above the bank of the River Rye.
The monument is considered to be a continuation of Double Dikes which is a
prehistoric dyke that extended from Stone Bridge Howl southwards for over 2km
towards Ampleforth. Stone Bridge Howl is a steep sided natural gully and is
thought to have acted as part of the boundary. Just to the north of where this
gully enters the steep sided valley of the River Rye, the prehistoric boundary
is continued as a complex linear bank and ditch which extends between the
valley side and the break of slope immediately above the river. It is this
section which forms the monument. Two further surviving sections of Double
Dikes to the south west are the subject of separate schedulings. This whole
boundary has been interpreted as the south easternmost component of a complex
of dykes known as the Cleave Dyke system. This extends for about 8km along the
top of the scarp of the Hambleton Hills between 400m south east of the top of
Sutton Bank and Steeple Cross boundary stone on the north side of Dale Town
Common. It has also been suggested that Double Dykes is associated with
Studfold Ring which is an enclosure with a bank and internal ditch dated to
the Iron Age which lies 1.8km to the south of the monument, 300m east of the
southern end of the dyke close to Smith Hill Howl. Another possible
association is with the three Bronze Age round barrows on Far Moor on the
north side of Stone Bridge Howl.
The section of the dyke which forms the monument survives as a double bank and
central ditch which forms a boundary 13m wide that extends down slope north
eastwards for 85m. This is further complicated as the ditch has a third bank
which forms a low ridge running down its centre so that the boundary could
also be described as a double ditch separating triple banks. The north western
bank is the most pronounced and is about 3m wide and rises 0.4m with a steeper
north western face. Its south eastern face runs directly down into the ditch
with no evidence of a berm between bank and ditch. The ditch is typically 0.4m
deep so that its base is 0.8m below the top of the north western bank. Overall
the ditch is 7m wide and the low rounded bank that forms a ridge down its
centre line is around 0.3m high and up to 3m wide. The ditch on the south east
side of this bank is slightly shallower than on the north western side. The
south eastern side of the boundary is formed by a low spread bank some 0.1m to
0.2m high and up to 3m wide. Again its north western side merges with the side
of the ditch with no evidence of a separating berm.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
these features 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

The Cleave Dyke system is the most westerly of a series of dyke systems on the
Tabular Hills of north east Yorkshire. The name has been given to a series of
linear ditches and banks stretching north-south over 9km parallel with and
close to the western scarp of the Hambleton Hills. The system was constructed
between the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age to augment the natural division
of the terrain by river valleys and watersheds. Significant stretches remain
visible as upstanding earthworks; elsewhere it can be recognised as a cropmark
on aerial photographs. The system formed a prehistoric territorial boundary in
an area largely given over to pastoralism; the impressive scale of the
earthworks displays the corporate prestige of their builders. In some
instances the boundaries have remained in use to the present day. Linear
boundaries are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and
land use in the later prehistoric period; all well preserved examples will
normally merit statutory protection.

The section of dyke at the north eastern end of Stone Bridge Howl, 760m north
west of Court House Farm, is well preserved. Its importance is heightened by
the survival of two further sections of the prehistoric boundary further to
the south.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Spratt, D A, Linear Earthworks of the Tabular Hills: North East Yorkshire, (1989), 3

Source: Historic England

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