Ancient Monuments

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Offa's Dyke: section 730m south east of The Yew Tree

A Scheduled Monument in Newcastle on Clun, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.4258 / 52°25'32"N

Longitude: -3.0945 / 3°5'40"W

OS Eastings: 325669.8127

OS Northings: 281428.3172

OS Grid: SO256814

Mapcode National: GBR B2.N8SM

Mapcode Global: VH768.99X7

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section 730m south east of The Yew Tree

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1933

Last Amended: 15 April 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020900

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32600

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 730m south east of The Yew Tree lying
within three separate areas of protection. 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 runs for approximately 1.35km from the hillside
above the south bank of the brook below Bryndrinog to the road which runs
north of Springhill Farm. At its northern end, within the first area of
protection, the Dyke is visible as slight earthworks running south for
40m before becoming more evident as a bank 1.8m high with a ditch and
counterscarp bank 4m wide at the base. Beyond this, the Dyke is believed
to have been destroyed by the construction of the road and Lower Spoad
Farm, and this area is not, therefore, included in the scheduling.
To the south of Lower Spoad Farm and in the second area of protection the Dyke
is visible as a bank and ditch, approximately 40m long, lying within the
farmyard. Beyond this, there is no evidence for the Dyke surviving immediately
to the south, and this area is not included in the scheduling. Approximately
30m to the south, however, and within the third area of protection the Dyke is
visible as a bank up to 3.2m high with a ditch and counterscarp bank
continuing southwards up the hill for 450m before being joined by a track from
the north west. The track overlies the ditch for 150m then runs along the
eastern edge of the bank for 400m, passing some small modern quarries to the
east of the Dyke. Both the ditch and the bank will survive as buried features
where overlain by the track, and are included in the scheduling. South of
this, the Dyke runs for a further 100m to the road at Spoad Hill, and is
visible as a steep-sided bank and deeply cut ditch.
Further sections of Offa's Dyke approximately 250m to the north and 12m to the
south of this monument are the subject of separate schedulings.
All fence posts, gates, stiles and track 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 730m south east of The Yew Tree survives
particularly well, standing up to 3.2m high in places, despite some
disturbance by the construction of a track. The varied form of the earthwork
throughout this section will provide insights into its construction and the
technical skills of the people who built it. Artefactual evidence will
additionally provide information about the changing use of the monument.
In addition, environmental evidence, such as pollen and seeds, preserved
within the fill of the ditch and the buried ground surface beneath the
bank, will provide evidence of farming practices in the area and the
local landscape.
This section of the Dyke 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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