Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section 65m north of Brook House

A Scheduled Monument in Hewelsfield and Brockweir, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7128 / 51°42'46"N

Longitude: -2.6611 / 2°39'40"W

OS Eastings: 354417.146504

OS Northings: 201767.492351

OS Grid: SO544017

Mapcode National: GBR JM.3CBG

Mapcode Global: VH87F.T6JT

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section 65m north of Brook House

Scheduled Date: 26 September 1935

Last Amended: 24 April 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020596

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33472

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Hewelsfield and Brockweir

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Hewelsfield St Mary Magdalene

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of Offa's Dyke, 65m
north of Brook House. 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 152m 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 11m wide and
stands to about 0.5m on its western face and 0.9m on its eastern face. It is
not continuous, with two short breaks towards the centre of the section, which
are thought to have been left open to allow for stream drainage. The ditch is
approximately 4m wide and up to 0.5m deep, while the quarry pits cover an area
up to 3m wide and 0.3m deep. In the southern section, the ditch and quarries
are no longer visible, having become infilled over time. They will, however,
survive as buried features.
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 65m north of Brook House 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 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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