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Offa's Dyke: section 400m north and 170m east of Selley Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Llanfair Waterdine, Shropshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.383 / 52°22'58"N

Longitude: -3.0798 / 3°4'47"W

OS Eastings: 326598.993878

OS Northings: 276653.886825

OS Grid: SO265766

Mapcode National: GBR B3.QSJP

Mapcode Global: VH76G.KCPK

Entry Name: Offa's Dyke: section 400m north and 170m east of Selley Hall

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1933

Last Amended: 15 April 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020904

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32605

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Llanfair Waterdine

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Llanfair Waterdine

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. It lies within two separate areas of
protection, 400m north and 170m east of Selley Hall. Offa's Dyke generally
consists of a bank up to 3.5m high with a intermittent parallel ditch and
quarry pits in places. It was strengthened in some areas by additional
earthworks, namely a berm and a counterscarp bank on the outer lip of the
ditch.
In this section the Dyke runs for 850m from the south side of the road south
of Garbett Hall to the farmyard at Brynorgan. At the monument's northern end,
within the first area of protection, the bank and ditch are visible for 35m
before being crossed by a stream. No remains of the Dyke have been
identified in the stream bed and this area is not included in the
scheduling. Beyond the stream and 25m further south within the second
area, the defences are visible as a broad bank and ditch with a counterscarp
bank clearly visible, although somewhat reduced by ploughing. In places the
bank takes the form of a terrace because of hillwash and the steepness of the
slope. Immediately to the east of the bank are a number of quarry pits
which provided additional material for the bank in places. These quarry
pits are included in the scheduling to preserve their relationship with
the Dyke.
The Dyke is crossed by the road to Brynorgan. Although the bank has been
reduced in this area, both it and the ditch will survive as buried features.
Beyond this road, a farm trackway follows the Dyke on the east side, slightly
modifying the bank which is visible as a slight berm. On the opposite side of
the track to the west the ditch and counterscarp are clearly defined. The Dyke
is then visible as an earthwork immediately west of Brynorgan for some 80m
beyond which it has been destroyed by a small quarry pit.
Further sections of Offa's Dyke 40m to the north and 40m to the south are the
subject of separate schedulings.
All fence posts, gates and the surface of the farmtrack to Brynorgan and the
road to Selley Cross 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 north and 170m east of Selley Hall survives
well despite some erosion by ploughing. This section also preserves quarry
pits which are less common in the Shropshire sections of the Dyke. These
provide additional information on the construction and use of the monument.
Environmental evidence in the form of pollen and seeds will be preserved
in the ditch and quarry pit fills and on the buried ground surface beneath the
bank and counterscarp bank. This will contain information about the landscape
in which the monument was constructed.
This section is part of the Offa's Dyke national footpath and as such is an
important recreational and educational resource.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Kay, K, Richards, , Offa's Dyke Path North, (1995), 18
Noble, F, Offa's Dyke Reviewed, (1983), 61

Source: Historic England

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