Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section 330m south west of Stowfield Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Lydbrook, Gloucestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8506 / 51°51'2"N

Longitude: -2.6029 / 2°36'10"W

OS Eastings: 358568.603973

OS Northings: 217057.021743

OS Grid: SO585170

Mapcode National: GBR FQ.TQYQ

Mapcode Global: VH86P.TRT7

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

Scheduled Date: 24 April 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020474

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33448

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 330m
south west 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 335m long section the Dyke is visible as a terrace making use of a
natural break in slope at the junction of the plateau and the steep scarp of
the River Wye. The terrace rises to a height of about 4m over a distance of
3m, and deliberately laid stonework is visible intermittently along the west
face of the terrace. This has been interpreted as the remains of a dry stone
revetment acting as a near vertical and highly visible facing on the outer
face of the monument.
All fence and gate posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath these features 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 330m south west of Stowfield Farm survives
well, and illustrates the use of natural topography to enhance the form
and visibility of the Dyke. The terrace will have preserved part of the
original ground surface, predating the construction of the monument, and
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. It 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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