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Offa's Dyke: section in Wyeseal Wood, 600m north of Gumbers Land Barn

A Scheduled Monument in St. Briavels, Gloucestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7488 / 51°44'55"N

Longitude: -2.6611 / 2°39'39"W

OS Eastings: 354459.085701

OS Northings: 205768.418609

OS Grid: SO544057

Mapcode National: GBR JM.15B0

Mapcode Global: VH877.T9KR

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section in Wyeseal Wood, 600m north of Gumbers Land Barn

Scheduled Date: 26 September 1935

Last Amended: 3 September 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020527

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33459

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: St. Briavels

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: St Briavels St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of Offa's Dyke in
Wyeseal Wood, 600m north of Gumbers Land Barn. 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 it 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 533m long section, the Dyke is visible as a bank, with a ditch and
counterscarp bank to the west and quarry pits to the east. The bank is
between 9m and 12m wide at its base and stands to a maximum height of 3.2m
on its western face and 1m on its eastern face. The ditch to the west is
up to 6m wide and 1m deep, while the counterscarp bank stands to 1m high
and is 6m wide. The quarry pits to the east of the bank form a band 5m to
10m wide and between 1m and 1.5m deep. At the northern end of the section,
the course of the Dyke has been badly damaged by later quarrying.
Similarly, the southern end of the section has been truncated by the
construction of the road through Mork village to Bigsweir. It has been
suggested that this road may represent an original crossing point through
the Dyke, as it would have linked the early medieval manor of Wyegate,
about 1km to the north east, to the present river crossing at Bigsweir.
Part of one of the fields to the north of the road had also become known
as `Passage Grove' by 1840. However, the origin of this gap is not
certain, and it is therefore not included in the scheduling.

All wooden fence posts, sign posts and stiles 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 in Wyeseal Wood, 600m north of Gumbers Land Barn,
survives well. The bank will have preserved part of the original ground
surface, predating the construction of the monument and, along with the ditch,
counterscarp bank and quarries will contain environmental evidence in the form
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), 71-74

Source: Historic England

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