Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section in Chapelhouse Wood, 240m west of the Recreation Ground

A Scheduled Monument in Tidenham, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.653 / 51°39'10"N

Longitude: -2.6716 / 2°40'17"W

OS Eastings: 353632.496921

OS Northings: 195130.669754

OS Grid: ST536951

Mapcode National: GBR JM.72P6

Mapcode Global: VH87M.MQZ4

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section in Chapelhouse Wood, 240m west of the Recreation Ground

Scheduled Date: 16 September 1935

Last Amended: 5 July 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020639

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34854

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Tidenham

Built-Up Area: Sedbury

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 Chapelhouse Wood, 240m west of the Recreation Ground. 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 376m long section, the Dyke is visible as a bank with a ditch and
counterscarp bank to the west and shallow quarry pits to the east. The bank is
between 10m and 12m wide at its base and stands to a maximum height of 1.6m on
its western face and 0.5m on its eastern face. To the west of the bank is a
ditch, approximately 1m wide and up to 0.4m deep. The ditch is only visible at
the southern end of the section, the stretch to the north having become
infilled over time. It will, however, survive as a buried feature. To the west
of the ditch is a counterscarp bank, also only visible at the southern end of
the section, which is about 4m wide and 0.4m high. To the east of the main
bank, a contiguous row of quarry pits is visible, surviving to a maximum
depth of 1.5m and to a width of 6m.
All fence and gate 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 240m west of the Recreation Ground survives
well. The banks 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 material 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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