Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section in Danehill Wood, 300m west of East Vaga

A Scheduled Monument in Tidenham, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.6802 / 51°40'48"N

Longitude: -2.653 / 2°39'10"W

OS Eastings: 354947.711

OS Northings: 198138.8413

OS Grid: ST549981

Mapcode National: GBR JN.57CW

Mapcode Global: VH87M.Y1T9

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section in Danehill Wood, 300m west of East Vaga

Scheduled Date: 14 March 1938

Last Amended: 3 September 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020607

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34853

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 in Danehill Wood, 300m west of East Vaga. This section of the Dyke is
in the care of the Secretary of 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.

In this 903m long section the Dyke is visible as a bank with a berm and short
section of counterscarp bank to the west and contiguous quarry pits to the
east. The bank is a maximum of 16m wide at its base, standing to 3.5m high on
its western face and 1m high on its eastern face. The berm marks a break in
slope between the western face of the bank and the natural slope of the hill,
and is up to 4m wide. Towards the southern end of the section a counterscarp
bank approximately 0.4m high is visible. The quarry pits are between 6m and 8m
wide and about 1m deep. There is a drystone wall to the east of this
scheduling, thought to have been built during the 19th century, which
marks the line of an old boundary and which now revets part of the monument. A
disused lime kiln which is included in the scheduling, stands at the northern
end of the section, and is also thought to have been built during the 19th
century. There is a gap in the monument at the northern end of the scheduling
at Ordnance Survey NGR ST55069833, which allows access for vehicles to Tintern
Quarry to the west of the Dyke. Although the bank has been levelled, evidence
for the Dyke's quarries is visible to the east of the cut. The break is not
thought to be the site of an original access point through the monument.
To the south of this section, below Dennel Hill, the line of the Dyke has
been destroyed by post-medieval quarrying.

The stone boundary wall to the east of the bank, all fence posts, sign posts,
marker posts and telegraph poles are excluded from the scheduling, although th
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 Danehill Wood, 300m west of East Varga,
survives well, and illustrates the use of natural topography to enhance
the form and visibility of the Dyke. The bank will have preserved part of
the original ground surface, predating the construction of the monument
and, along with the berm, counterscarp and quarries, 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)
Lime kiln south west of Boatwood Cottage,

Source: Historic England

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