Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section 330m east of Stowfield Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Lydbrook, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.8531 / 51°51'11"N

Longitude: -2.5958 / 2°35'45"W

OS Eastings: 359055.798874

OS Northings: 217330.634297

OS Grid: SO590173

Mapcode National: GBR FR.TDQ7

Mapcode Global: VH86P.YPJ9

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section 330m east of Stowfield Farm

Scheduled Date: 25 September 1935

Last Amended: 3 September 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020470

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33444

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Lydbrook

Built-Up Area: Lydbrook

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: English Bicknor St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of Offa's Dyke 330m
east of Stowfield Farm. Offa's Dyke generally consists of a bank up to
3.5m high with an intermittent ditch to the west and quarry pits to the
east. In places Offa's Dyke was strengthened by additional earthworks,
namely a berm between the bank and ditch, and a counterscarp bank on the
western lip of the ditch.
This 88m long section of the Dyke turns from its usual alignment to run north
west-south east parallel with the course of the River Wye. It is visible as a
bank with quarry pits to the south. The bank is up to 14m wide at its base and
stands to 3m high on its northern face and 1.5m on its southern face. The
quarry pits are 3m wide and up to 0.5m deep. To the south east of this section
the line of the Dyke has been damaged by the construction of Stowfield
Hospital, now Stowfield House, in 1919. An access road has been cut through
the line of the monument at its western extent. This is believed to have taken
place at the same time as the construction of the hospital and is not thought
to represent the site of an original crossing point through the Dyke. This
area is not included in the scheduling.
All fence and gate 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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Offa's Dyke is the longest linear earthwork in Britain, approximately 220km,
running from Treuddyn, near Mold, to Sedbury on the Severn estuary. It was
constructed towards the end of the eighth century AD by the Mercian king Offa,
and is believed to have formed a long-lived territorial, and possibly
defensive, boundary between the Saxon kingdom of Mercia and the Welsh
The Dyke is not continuous and consists of a number of discrete lengths
separated by gaps of up to 23km. It is clear from the nature of certain
sections that differences in the scale and character of adjoining portions
were the result of separate gangs being employed on different lengths. Where
possible, natural topographic features such as slopes or rivers were utilised,
and the form of Offa's Dyke is therefore clearly related to the topography.
Along most of its length it consists of a bank with a ditch to the west.
Excavation has indicated that at least some lengths of the bank had a vertical
outer face of either laid stonework or turf revetment. The ditch generally
seems to have been used to provide most of the bank material, although there
is also evidence in some locations of shallow quarries. In places, a berm
divides the bank and ditch, and a counterscarp bank may be present on the lip
of the ditch.
Offa's Dyke now survives in various states of preservation in the form of
earthworks and, where sections have been levelled and infilled, as buried
features. Although some sections of the frontier system no longer survive
visibly, sufficient evidence does exist for its position to be accurately
identified throughout most of its length. In view of its contribution towards
the study of early medieval territorial patterns, all sections of Offa's Dyke
exhibiting significant archaeological remains are considered worthy of

The section of Offa's Dyke 330m east of Stowfield Farm survives well. The
bank will have preserved part of the original ground surface, predating
the construction of the monument and, along with the quarries to the
south, will contain environmental evidence in the form of organic remains
which will relate both to the Dyke and to the landscape within which it
was constructed. The bank will also contain evidence relating to the
methods of construction of the monument and the building materials used.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hoyle, J, Vallender, J, Offa's Dyke in Gloucestershire: Management Survay, (1997)

Source: Historic England

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