Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section 175m east of Cefn Bronydd

A Scheduled Monument in Newcastle on Clun, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.4456 / 52°26'44"N

Longitude: -3.0949 / 3°5'41"W

OS Eastings: 325677.5582

OS Northings: 283632.0234

OS Grid: SO256836

Mapcode National: GBR B2.M2Q3

Mapcode Global: VH762.9SPL

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section 175m east of Cefn Bronydd

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1933

Last Amended: 15 April 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020899

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32599

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Newcastle on Clun

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Newcastle

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a section of the
linear boundary known as Offa's Dyke 175m east of Cefn Bronydd. 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 edge of the ditch.
In this section the Dyke runs for 1.9km southwards from the stream at Lower
Mount along the west shoulder of Graig Hill as far as the stream at Bryndrinog
Farm. At the northern end, the bank is well-preserved for some 150m and
defines the north bank of the stream, with the ditch serving as the streambed.
The Dyke continues southwards where the profile of the remains is influenced
by the hillslope. Here the bank is visible as a terrace jutting out from the
hillside. The ditch to the west cuts into the hill, and a high counterscarp
bank has been formed from the spoil cast up from this work. Towards the
southern end of this section the ditch has been partly infilled by land
slippage but will survive as a buried feature. There are three gaps in the
defences, including a road junction 110m east of Wellfield, although the bank
and ditch will survive as buried features and are, therefore, included in the
Further sections of Offa's Dyke approximately 30m to the north and 250m to the
south are the subject of separate schedulings.
All fence posts, stiles, telegraph poles and road surfaces are excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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 175m east of Cefn Bronydd survives well throughout
its length despite some localised damage caused by roads across the earthwork.
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 within the fills of the ditch and on the buried ground
surface below the bank will provide information about farming practice in the
area and the landscape in which the monument was constructed.
This section is accessible to the public and as such is a valuable
recreational and educational resource.

Source: Historic England


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

Source: Historic England

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