Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section immediately east of Stowfield Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Lydbrook, Gloucestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8526 / 51°51'9"N

Longitude: -2.6001 / 2°36'0"W

OS Eastings: 358763.559317

OS Northings: 217277.430284

OS Grid: SO587172

Mapcode National: GBR FQ.TKN6

Mapcode Global: VH86P.WP9P

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

Scheduled Date: 25 September 1935

Last Amended: 3 September 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020472

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33446

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

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of Offa's Dyke
immediately 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
ditches 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.
In this section the Dyke turns from its usual alignment to run for some
41m north east to south west. It is visible as a bank with shallow quarry
ditches to the south, ascending a hillslope parallel with the course of
the River Wye. The bank is about 10m wide at its base and stands to a
maximum height of 1.5m. The quarries, from which material was excavated
during the construction of the monument, are about 3m wide and up to 1.5m
deep.
All wooden fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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
kingdoms.
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
protection.

The section of Offa's Dyke immediately 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
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

Sources

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

Source: Historic England

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