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Offa's Dyke: section 240m north east of Buttington Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Tidenham, Gloucestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6335 / 51°38'0"N

Longitude: -2.6514 / 2°39'5"W

OS Eastings: 355009.752677

OS Northings: 192949.004209

OS Grid: ST550929

Mapcode National: GBR JN.87RM

Mapcode Global: VH87V.064K

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section 240m north east of Buttington Farm

Scheduled Date: 18 February 1938

Last Amended: 29 January 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020643

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34859

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

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a section of Offa's
Dyke 240m north east of Buttington Farm. 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 section, the Dyke turns from its usual alignment to run north
west-south east. It is visible as a bank with a ditch to the south and quarry
pits to the north. At the western end of the section the bank is about 10m
wide and stands to a height of 2m on its southern face and 0.6m on its
northern face. At the eastern extent of the section, the scale of the
construction becomes increasingly monumental, with the bank measuring up to
17m wide at the base and standing to between 2.8m and 5m high on its southern
face and 1.5m to 2m high on its northern face. The ditch to the south is up to
9m wide and increases in depth from 0.8m at the western end of the section to
2.85m at the east. The quarries lie to the north of the bank and range in size
from 2m to 3m wide in the west to 0.3m to 1.5m deep in the east. This section
forms the termination of Offa's Dyke in Gloucestershire, which ends at
Sedbury Cliffs.

Towards the eastern end of the section, at Ordnance Survey NGR ST55129289,
there are two gaps in the Dyke which are thought to be original as they
allow water, running off the hill slopes to the north and rising from the
springs close to the bank, to drain down the hillside.

All fence posts, stiles, telegraph poles, the wooden footbridge and the Offa's
Dyke Stone are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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
kingdoms.
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
protection.

The section of Offa's Dyke 240m north east of Buttington Farm survives
well. The section of bank will have preserved part of the original ground
surface, predating the construction of the Dyke and, along with the ditch
to the south and the quarries to the north, 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 in its construction.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Hoyle, J, Vallender, J, Offa's Dyke in Gloucestershire: Management Survay, (1997)

Source: Historic England

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