Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section 650m south west of Stowfield Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Lydbrook, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.8479 / 51°50'52"N

Longitude: -2.605 / 2°36'17"W

OS Eastings: 358422.860506

OS Northings: 216761.291488

OS Grid: SO584167

Mapcode National: GBR FQ.TQG6

Mapcode Global: VH86P.STQ8

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section 650m south west of Stowfield Farm

Scheduled Date: 17 December 1935

Last Amended: 24 April 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020475

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33449

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 650m
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 263m long section the Dyke is visible as a bank with a stretch of
ditch and counterscarp bank to the west and quarry pits to the east. There is
a gap in the centre of this stretch of the monument, which is due to
cultivation damage, but the course of the Dyke is still visible as a very low
earthwork. The bank is between 11m and 15m wide at its base and stands to 3.4m
on its western face and 1m on its eastern face. A ditch, up to 5m wide and
0.4m deep, extends along the western face of the monument, although it is only
visible at the southern end of the section, the stretch to the north having
become infilled over time. A counterscarp bank is also visible to the west of
the ditch at the southern extent of the monument. It is up to 8m wide at its
base and 0.9m high. A band of contiguous quarry pits, between 2m and 8m wide,
and up to 0.7m deep, lies to the east of the bank.
All fence posts, sign posts 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 650m south west 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 ditch and
counterscarp bank to the west and the quarries to the east, 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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