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Cross dyke centred 480m south of Fox and Rabbit Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Lockton, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.2774 / 54°16'38"N

Longitude: -0.6972 / 0°41'49"W

OS Eastings: 484928.338

OS Northings: 487640.6296

OS Grid: SE849876

Mapcode National: GBR RLKZ.VF

Mapcode Global: WHGBW.8R88

Entry Name: Cross dyke centred 480m south of Fox and Rabbit Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 November 1967

Last Amended: 22 December 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021170

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35902

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 the earthwork and buried remains of a cross dyke
which is situated on the southern slopes of the Tabular Hills. It occupies
a prominent position running across the ridge between Newton Dale in the
west and Thornton Dale in the east. Also included is a cup-marked stone
which is incorporated into the cross dyke, two lime kilns which are
constructed within the cross dyke and a segment of a post-medieval
boundary which adjoins the eastern end of the cross dyke. The monument is
divided into three areas of protection by the A169 and the Whitby to
Thornton Dale road, which cross it from north east to south west and from
north to south respectively.

The cross dyke runs for about 1.68km in an approximate east to west
direction, turning to the north west for the last 200m at the western end
before terminating at the top of the steep slope into Cross Dale, a
tributary valley of Newton Dale. At its eastern end the cross dyke ends at
the top of the steepest part of the slope into Thornton Dale. The cross
dyke has a ditch which is flanked by two parallel banks constructed of
earth and stone and the earthworks have an overall maximum width of 13m.
The ditch is 1.5m-2m deep, measured from the tops of the banks, but where
it crosses the highest part of the ridge towards the western end it is
reduced to 1m. For most of their length the banks stand 0.5m-0.8m high,
although in places, particularly in the western section, the northern bank
has been partly levelled or reduced by ploughing and is no more than 0.3m
high. In the penultimate field at the western end and at the eastern end
of the eastern section the cross dyke has largely been levelled by
ploughing and is not visible as an earthwork. Part of the south western
bank and the northern bank, however, survive at the western end and at the
eastern end respectively where they are used as modern field boundaries.
In both these places, the ditch will survive as a sub-soil feature. A
cup-marked stone was recorded in 1982, incorporated into one of the banks
towards the western end of the cross dyke but since that time it has
become buried with soil and vegetation and is no longer visible.

The cross dyke has been disturbed by post-medieval limestone quarrying on
the west side of the A169, where the earthworks have been breached for
10m, and in the eastern part of the central section, where the northern
bank and the northern part of the ditch have been quarried for a 50m
length. There are also three modern breaches caused by field access, two
in the central section and one in the eastern section, and a further
modern disturbance breaching the dyke at the western end of the eastern

The two lime kilns are situated within the post-medieval quarries in the
western and central sections of the cross dyke. They were constructed in
the 18th or 19th century and are of a type known as a clamp kiln. The
western lime kiln is visible as a horseshoe-shaped mound of earth and
stone rubble which incorporates the northern bank of the cross dyke as its
southern side. The mound measures 8m across and stands up to 2m high. It
opens to the west onto the breach through the cross dyke and has a hollow
in the centre which is now distorted by the roots of a mature tree. The
lime kiln in the central section of the cross dyke is also constructed
within the northern bank. It is visible as a steep-sided oval-shaped
hollow, which is open to the south and surrounded to the north, east and
west by a mound standing up to 1.2m high. The mound measures 12m across
from east to west and has fragments of burnt stonework visible in the
centre of the northern face. The hollow is about 2.5m deep, measured from
the top of the mound.

The post-medieval boundary segment runs from north to south and is 80m
long; the southern end of the segment is at the southern terminal of the
boundary. It has a bank of earth and stone with a ditch on its western
side which together measure 5m in width. The segment adjoins the eastern
end of the cross dyke; the northern edge of the cross dyke forms the
southern terminal of the ditch and the bank continues for 3m to the south
across the end of the northern bank of the cross dyke, projecting for 2m
beyond the eastern terminal of the cross dyke. The boundary to which this
segment belongs continues to the north beyond this monument and it marks
the division between the modern parishes of Lockton and Thornton Dale.

All fence posts along modern boundaries and the ruined boundary walls
crossing and running along the monument are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath all these features is included.

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.

Prehistoric rock art is found on natural rock outcrops in many areas of
upland Britain. It is especially common in the north of England in
Northumberland, Durham and North and West Yorkshire. The most common form
of decoration is the `cup and ring' marking, where expanses of small
cup-like hollows are pecked into the surface of the rock. These cups may
be surrounded by one or more `rings'. Single pecked lines extending from
the cup through the rings may also exist, providing the design with a
`tail'. Pecked lines or grooves can also exist in isolation from cup and
ring decoration. Other shapes and patterns also occur, but are less
frequent. Carvings may occur singly, in small groups, or may cover
extensive areas of rock surface. They date to the Late Neolithic and
Bronze Age periods (2800-c.500 BC) and provide one of our most important
insights into prehistoric `art'. The exact meaning of the designs remains
unknown, but they may be interpreted as sacred or religious symbols.
Frequently they are found close to contemporary burial monuments and the
symbols are also found on portable stones placed directly next to burials
or incorporated into burial mounds. Around 800 examples of prehistoric
rock art have been recorded in England. This is unlikely to be a realistic
reflection of the number carved in prehistory. Many will have been
overgrown or destroyed in activities such as quarrying.

Despite limited disturbance the cross dyke centred 480m south of Fox and
Rabbit 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.

Lime kilns are structures which were built in order to produce lime by
burning chalk or limestone with a fuel, such as wood, peat or coal. The
earliest lime kilns are Roman in date, but most surviving examples which
have been identified are 18th or 19th century and date from a time when
agricultural intensification generated the need for large quantities of
lime for spreading on cultivated fields. Clamp kilns are generally found
in rural locations where they were constructed for single or intermittant
use and had no permanent superstructure. The kiln was formed of an
excavated bowl or pit, within which was placed a base of kindling and a
mound of alternating layers of limestone and fuel. The sides may have been
built up slightly with earth and/or rough stone walling, and the load was
covered with sods of earth. A flue was incorporated into the base of the
mound and when ready, the whole mass was set alight and left to burn
itself out over a period of days. The kiln was then dismantled and the
lime removed.

These lime kilns are important because they have been constructed within
the banks of a cross dyke, and this demonstrates the diversity of form
which it is thought rural clamp kilns had.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Spratt, D A, Linear Earthworks of the Tabular Hills: North East Yorkshire, (1989), 29
Spratt, D A, Linear Earthworks of the Tabular Hills: North East Yorkshire, (1989), 29-32
Spratt, D A, Linear Earthworks of the Tabular Hills: North East Yorkshire, (1989), 29-30
Rutter, J G, 'Transactions of the Scarborough and District Archaeological Soc' in A Survey Of Linear Earthworks And Associated Enclosures In NE, , Vol. 3, (1974), 17-18
Title: 1st Edition 6" Ordnance Survey sheet 75
Source Date: 1854

Source: Historic England

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