Ancient Monuments

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Cross dyke on Far Black Rigg, 1060m north west of Black Dale Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Lockton, North Yorkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.3168 / 54°19'0"N

Longitude: -0.7061 / 0°42'21"W

OS Eastings: 484269.339139

OS Northings: 492022.37705

OS Grid: SE842920

Mapcode National: GBR RLHJ.Y9

Mapcode Global: WHGBP.4R1H

Entry Name: Cross dyke on Far Black Rigg, 1060m north west of Black Dale Bridge

Scheduled Date: 8 September 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021101

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35459

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Lockton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Lockton St Giles

Church of England Diocese: York

Details

The monument includes the surviving part of a cross dyke which is situated
on the central plateau of the Tabular Hills. It occupies a prominent
ridge-top position between Horcum Slack and Black Griff.

The surviving part of the cross dyke runs for 190m in an approximate north
west to south east direction, bowing slightly to the north in the centre.
The cross dyke has a ditch which is flanked by two parallel banks of earth
and stone. The southern bank stands up to 0.8m high and the northern bank
stands up to 0.5m high; in places the northern bank has been clipped by
modern ploughing, particularly in the western half of the cross dyke. The
ditch is up to 1m deep, measured from the tops of the banks, and the
earthworks have an overall maximum width of 10m. Originally the cross dyke
continued for a few metres at either end of the surviving earthworks,
ending in the west at the top of the steepest part of the valley slope and
in the east close to the southern terminal of the Horcum Dike, but the
terminals have been destroyed by hollow ways and levelling for modern
vehicle tracks and they are no longer visible. At the western end of the
monument an old boundary line cuts diagonally across the cross dyke from
the northern bank to the southern; an unmarked footpath along the northern
side of this boundary line runs along the ditch of the cross dyke as a
hollow way for the last 10m. The cross dyke has a modern breach across the
centre which allows vehicle access between fields. The monument forms part
of a network of prehistoric boundaries which is surrounded by many other
prehistoric monuments, including burials and field systems.

All fence posts on the banks at the western end of the monument and along
modern boundaries at either end of the monument, and the field boundary
wall which runs to the south of the cross dyke are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Cross dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.2km and 1km
long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to one or
more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across ridges
and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on aerial
photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation and
analogy with associated monuments demonstrates that their construction spans
the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used
later. Current information favours the view that they were used as territorial
boundary markers, probably demarcating land allotment within communities,
although they may also have been used as trackways, cattle droveways or
defensive earthworks. Cross dykes are one of the few monument types which
illustrate how land was divided up in the prehistoric period. They are of
considerable importance for any analysis of settlement and land use in the
Bronze Age. Very few have survived to the present day and hence all well-
preserved examples are considered to be of national importance.

Despite limited disturbance the cross dyke on Far Black Rigg 1060m north
west of Black Dale Bridge has survived well. Important environmental
evidence which can be used to date the cross dyke and determine
contemporary land use will be preserved within the lowest ditch fills.
Evidence for earlier land use will be preserved in the old ground surface
beneath the banks.

The cross dyke belongs to a network of prehistoric boundaries, dividing
the area to the south of the scarp edge of the Tabular Hills, between
Newton Dale in the west and Stain Dale in the east. It is thought to
represent a system of territorial land division which was constructed to
augment natural divisions of the landscape by river valleys and watersheds
and it is one of many such groups found on the Tabular Hills. Networks
such as these offer important scope for the study of land use for social,
ritual and agricultural purposes during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Spratt, D A, Linear Earthworks of the Tabular Hills: North East Yorkshire, (1989), 38-42

Source: Historic England

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