Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross dyke on Saltergate Brow, 750m south east of Barr Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Lockton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.3376 / 54°20'15"N

Longitude: -0.6808 / 0°40'50"W

OS Eastings: 485867.080817

OS Northings: 494366.573804

OS Grid: SE858943

Mapcode National: GBR RLP8.DV

Mapcode Global: WHGBP.J70J

Entry Name: Cross dyke on Saltergate Brow, 750m south east of Barr Farm

Scheduled Date: 12 June 1962

Last Amended: 12 November 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021166

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35454

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


The monument includes a cross dyke which is situated at the northern edge
of the Tabular Hills. It occupies a prominent ridge-top position between
Saltergate Brow and Long Gill.

The cross dyke runs for 400m in an approximate north west to south east
direction, between the top of the steepest part of the scarp slope and the
top of the steep rocky slope at the head of Long Gill. It has a ditch
which runs between two parallel banks of earth and stone. The ditch is up
to 1.5m deep, measured from the tops of the flanking banks which stand
0.5m-0.9m high. The earthworks have an overall maximum width of 12m. The
cross dyke is breached by an unsurfaced track towards its western end;
there are six further modern breaches further to the east.

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 along modern boundaries crossing and running alongside the
earthworks are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 Saltergate Brow 750m south
east of Barr Farm 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


Books and journals
Spratt, D A, Linear Earthworks of the Tabular Hills: North East Yorkshire, (1989), 33-40
Bastow, M, AM107, (1994)
Pacitto, A L, AM107, (1984)

Source: Historic England

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