Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section in Victuals Grove, 230m north of Beaconsfield Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in St. Briavels, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7322 / 51°43'55"N

Longitude: -2.6571 / 2°39'25"W

OS Eastings: 354713.7702

OS Northings: 203921.4425

OS Grid: SO547039

Mapcode National: GBR JN.20B8

Mapcode Global: VH877.WQNH

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section in Victuals Grove, 230m north of Beaconsfield Cottage

Scheduled Date: 24 September 1935

Last Amended: 3 September 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020530

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33462

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
Victual's Grove, 230m north east of Beaconsfield Cottage. Offa's Dyke
generally consists of a bank up to 3.5m high with an intermittent ditch to
the west and quarry pits 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 section the Dyke runs for some 362m. It turns from its usual
alignment, and is visible as a bank with a ditch to the north and west and
quarry pits to the south and east. The bank is between 9m and 12m wide at
its base and stands to a maximum height of 1.2m on its northern and
western face and 1.8m on its southern and eastern face. The ditch to the
north and west of the bank is between 2m and 5m wide and up to 0.5m deep.
It is not visible along the entire length of this section of the Dyke,
having become infilled over time, but will survive as a buried feature.
The quarry pits to the south and east of the bank cover an area 2m to 5m
wide and up to 0.3m deep.

All drystone walls 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 Victual's Grove, 230m north of Beaconsfield
Cottage, 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 the quarries, 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
materials used.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Fox, C, Offa's Dyke, (1955)
Hoyle, J, Vallender, J, Offa's Dyke in Gloucestershire: Management Survay, (1997), 38-39

Source: Historic England

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