Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section on St Briavels Common, 230m north of Hudnalls Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Briavels, Gloucestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.7314 / 51°43'53"N

Longitude: -2.6679 / 2°40'4"W

OS Eastings: 353970.898261

OS Northings: 203845.960494

OS Grid: SO539038

Mapcode National: GBR JM.23M9

Mapcode Global: VH877.PRY1

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section on St Briavels Common, 230m north of Hudnalls Farm

Scheduled Date: 17 September 1935

Last Amended: 28 January 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020533

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33465

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,
230m north of Hudnalls 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 stregthened 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 turns from its usual
alignment to run for some 115m from north east to south west. It is
visible as a terrace with quarry pits to the south. The terrace stands to
between 0.5m and 1m high, while the quarries to the south cover an area
between 2m and 4m wide and are up to 0.5m deep.
All wooden fence posts, gate posts and stone walls 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 230m north of Hudnalls Farm survives well. The
terrace will have preserved part of the original ground surface, predating
the construction of the monument and, along with the quarries, will
contain environmental evidence in the form of organic remains which will
relate both to the Dyke and the landscape in which it was constructed. The
terrace 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
Fox, C, Offa's Dyke, (1955)
Hoyle, J, Vallender, J, Offa's Dyke in Gloucestershire: Management Survay, (1997)

Source: Historic England

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