Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section on Madgett Hill, 380m south east of Brook House

A Scheduled Monument in Hewelsfield and Brockweir, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7092 / 51°42'33"N

Longitude: -2.6588 / 2°39'31"W

OS Eastings: 354575.591645

OS Northings: 201365.161456

OS Grid: SO545013

Mapcode National: GBR JM.3KX6

Mapcode Global: VH87F.V9RL

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section on Madgett Hill, 380m south east of Brook House

Scheduled Date: 16 September 1935

Last Amended: 3 September 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020599

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33475

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 a section of Offa's
Dyke 380m south east of Brook House, on Madgett Hill. 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.
In this 91m long section the Dyke is visible as a bank with a shallow ditch to
the west and an area of contiguous quarry pits to the east, running
north-south up the slope of Madgett Hill. The bank, which has a rounded
profile, is between 9m and 10m wide at its base and stands to a maximum height
of 1.1m on its western face and 1.7m on its eastern face. The ditch is between
3m and 6m wide and up to 0.4m deep, while the quarries are up to 8m wide and
0.6m deep.
The Offa's Dyke long distance footpath signpost at the southern end of the
section is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is

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 380m south east of Brook House on Madgett Hill
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
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
Hoyle, J, Vallender, J, Offa's Dyke in Gloucestershire: Management Survay, (1997)

Source: Historic England

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