Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Offa's Dyke: section 575m north west of Myndtown

A Scheduled Monument in Mainstone, Shropshire

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 52.4563 / 52°27'22"N

Longitude: -3.0921 / 3°5'31"W

OS Eastings: 325883.971006

OS Northings: 284820.572723

OS Grid: SO258848

Mapcode National: GBR B2.L9DZ

Mapcode Global: VH762.CJ5C

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section 575m north west of Myndtown

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1933

Last Amended: 15 April 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020898

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32598

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Mainstone

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Newcastle

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

Details

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a section of the
linear boundary known as Offa's Dyke 575m north west of Myndtown. Offa's Dyke
generally consists of a bank, up to 3.5m high, with an intermittent parallel
ditch and quarry pits in places. It was strengthened in some areas by
additional earthworks, namely a berm between the bank and ditch and a
counterscarp bank on the outer lip of the ditch.
In this section the Dyke is 1.5km long, running between the south side of
the road from Cwm Farm at Hergan to the north bank of the brook which
flows south of Lower Mount. To the north of this section, the construction
of the road has damaged the Dyke and this area is not, therefore, included
in the scheduling.
The northernmost end of this section survives well, with the bank, ditch and
counterscarp bank visible as earthworks approximately 18m wide following the
contours of the land as far as the field gate at Lower Mount. Throughout this
section the Dyke takes the form of a small bank on a terrace cut into the
hillslope above a massive ditch with a pronounced counterscarp bank on the
western side. Below the defences the ground falls away rapidly. To the north
of Lower Mount a post-medieval quarry and a trackway on the north east
side of the Dyke have modified the earthworks. In addition a second
trackway crossing the Dyke from the north west has resulted in a gap in
the Dyke at a point 110m north west of Lower Mount. The base of the bank
and the ditch will survive as buried features and are, therefore, included
in the scheduling.
At Lower Mount the Dyke has been modified by agriculture and the construction
of outbuildings, although the bank and ditch will survive as buried features
and are included in the scheduling. To the west of Lower Mount, the Dyke is
visible as a bank in the garden of the house running as far as the road to the
south of the farm. The base of the bank and the ditch will survive as buried
features beneath the road and are included in the scheduling.
To the south of the road the Dyke is visible as a bank as far as the northern
bank of the stream 90m to the south of Lower Mount.
The spring at Ffynnon-y-Saint wells out of the southern side of the Dyke.
The water flows into a metal tank and the overflow is piped across the Dyke to
run down the slope to the north. The name of this feature suggests a healing
or a holy well, but there is no record of any tradition of visiting the well
for healing purposes.
Further sections of Offa's Dyke immediately to the north and 30m to the south
are the subject of separate schedulings.
All post and wire fences, the water tank at Ffynnon y Saint, stiles, garden
rockery features, a septic tank at Lower Mount and the road surfaces are all
excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them 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 575m north west of Myndtown survives despite some
modification by trackways and the construction of outbuildings. The varied
form of the earthwork throughout this section will provide insight into its
construction and the technical skills of the people who built it. Artefactual
evidence will also provide information about the changing use of the monument.
In addition, environmental evidence such as pollen and seeds preserved within
the fills of the ditch and the buried land surface beneath the bank will
provide evidence of farming practice in the area and the surrounding landscape
This section is accessible to the public and as such is a valuable
recreational and educational resource.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Kay, K, Richards, , Offa's Dyke Path North, (1995), 18
Kay, K, Richards, , Offa's Dyke Path North, (1995), 19

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.