Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section on St Briavels Common, 400m east of Yewgreen Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Briavels, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7178 / 51°43'4"N

Longitude: -2.6661 / 2°39'58"W

OS Eastings: 354077.577063

OS Northings: 202328.553664

OS Grid: SO540023

Mapcode National: GBR JM.2XSD

Mapcode Global: VH87F.Q2WZ

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section on St Briavels Common, 400m east of Yewgreen Farm

Scheduled Date: 25 September 1935

Last Amended: 3 September 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020594

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33470

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,
400m east of Yewgreen Farm. 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 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.
This 189m 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 8m to 11m wide and
stands to a maximum height of 1.5m. The ditch is approximately 3m wide and up
to 0.3m deep. The ditch is only visible at the southern end of this section,
as its extent to the north has become infilled over time. It will, however,
survive as a buried feature. The quarries cover an area up to 3m wide and 0.3m
deep. They are most visible at the northern end of this section, surviving as
a buried feature to the south.
All wooden fence posts, gate posts and stone walls 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 400m east of Yewgreen 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 to the west
and quarries to the east will contain environmental evidence in the form
of organic remains which will relate both to the monument and to the
landscape within which it was constructed. The bank will also contain
evidence relating to the methods of construction and the building
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)

Source: Historic England

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