Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section in St Margaret's Grove, 170m north east of Gumbers Land Barn

A Scheduled Monument in St. Briavels, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.745 / 51°44'42"N

Longitude: -2.6603 / 2°39'37"W

OS Eastings: 354506.857699

OS Northings: 205350.907578

OS Grid: SO545053

Mapcode National: GBR JM.1CJV

Mapcode Global: VH877.TDYM

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section in St Margaret's Grove, 170m north east of Gumbers Land Barn

Scheduled Date: 26 September 1935

Last Amended: 3 September 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020528

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33460

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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of Offa's Dyke in St
Margaret's Grove, 170m north east of Gumbers Land Barn. Offa's Dyke generally
consists of a bank up to 3.5m high with an intermittent external ditch and
internal quarry ditches. 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.
This 366m long section of the Dyke is visible as a bank, with a ditch to the
west and quarry pits to the east. The bank is between 10m and 15m wide at its
base and stands to a maximum height of 2m on its western face and 1.5m on its
eastern face. The ditch is up to 3m wide and 1m deep, but is only visible
along the southern portion of the monument, having become infilled further to
the north, but it will survive as a buried feature. The quarry pits to the
east occupy a 6m to 8m wide area and are between 1m and 1.7m deep. Where the
monument forms part of a field boundary with the cultivated area to the west,
the bank has been deliberately lowered by levelling during the late 18th
century. The southern end of the section marks the start of a break in the
Dyke of approximately 0.7km, although it is thought that the course of the
monument has been preserved by the line followed by a field boundary to the
west of Lindor's Farm.
All wooden fence and gate posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath them 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 in St Margaret's Grove, 170m north east 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 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, 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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