Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section in Worgan's Wood, 800m west of Chase Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Tidenham, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.685 / 51°41'6"N

Longitude: -2.6624 / 2°39'44"W

OS Eastings: 354301.461645

OS Northings: 198683.059666

OS Grid: ST543986

Mapcode National: GBR JM.5508

Mapcode Global: VH87F.SXV4

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section in Worgan's Wood, 800m west of Chase Farm

Scheduled Date: 14 March 1938

Last Amended: 3 September 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020605

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34851

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Tidenham

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Tidenham St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a section of Offa's
Dyke, 800m west of Chase Farm. This section of the Dyke is in the care of
the Secretary of the State. 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
lip of the ditch.
This 952m long section of the Dyke turns from its usual alignment to run north
west-south east. It is visible as a bank with contiguous quarry pits to the
north east, from which material was excavated during the construction of the
monument. The bank is up to 13m wide at its base and stands to approximately
2m on its south west face and 1.5m on its north east face. The quarries to the
north east vary in depth between 0.7m and 1.8m and are between 6m and 8m wide.
There is a gap in the line of the monument at Ordnance Survey NGR ST 54579848
which provides access for forestry vehicles, and this is not thought to be an
original crossing point through the monument.
All fence posts, sign posts and marker posts 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 in Worgan's Wood, 800m west of Chase Farm,
survives well. The bank will have preserved part of the original ground
surface, predating the construction of the monument and, along with the
quarries to the north 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 Dyke 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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