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Offa's Dyke: section 400m south west of Springhill Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Newcastle on Clun, Shropshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.417 / 52°25'1"N

Longitude: -3.0984 / 3°5'54"W

OS Eastings: 325388.627397

OS Northings: 280459.032073

OS Grid: SO253804

Mapcode National: GBR B2.NV47

Mapcode Global: VH768.7HTZ

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section 400m south west of Springhill Farm

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1933

Last Amended: 15 April 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020901

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32601

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

Details

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a section of the
linear boundary known as Offa's Dyke, 400m south west of Springhill Farm.
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 southward for some 770m down into a shallow
valley, 400m south of Springhill Farm, and across a higher plateau to a second
shallow valley where it ends on the north bank of a brook. Throughout this
section, the condition of the remains is particularly good with the bank
standing up to 3.5m high in places and a strong V-cut ditch and pronounced
counterscarp bank surviving. The brook at the southern end has removed 15m of
the remains and this area is not, therefore, included in the scheduling.
Four gaps across the earthworks provide access for vehicles, but the bank and
ditch will survive here as buried features beneath the track surfaces and
these gaps are, therefore, included in the scheduling.
Further sections of Offa's Dyke approximately 20m to the north and 15m to the
south are the subject of separate schedulings.
All fence posts, stiles, gates, road and track surfaces are 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 400m south west of Springhill Farm survives
particularly well, with the bank standing up to 3.5m high in places. The
varied form of the earthworks 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 fill of the ditch and the buried ground surface beneath
the bank will provide evidence for the landscape and farming practices at the
time the Dyke was built.

Source: Historic England

Sources

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

Source: Historic England

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