Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Wat's Dyke: Section south east of Meadow Mills

A Scheduled Monument in Holywell (Treffynnon), Flintshire (Sir y Fflint)

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Latitude: 53.2812 / 53°16'52"N

Longitude: -3.2148 / 3°12'53"W

OS Eastings: 319098

OS Northings: 376710

OS Grid: SJ190767

Mapcode National: GBR 5ZZH.SH

Mapcode Global: WH76K.LSBG

Entry Name: Wat's Dyke: Section SE of Meadow Mills

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 198

Cadw Legacy ID: FL079

Schedule Class: Monument

Category: Linear earthwork

Period: Early Medieval

County: Flintshire (Sir y Fflint)

Community: Holywell (Treffynnon)

Built-Up Area: Holywell

Traditional County: Flintshire


The monument comprises a stretch of Wat's Dyke, an early historic boundary marker probably associated with the border of the kingdom of Mercia. Both Offa's Dyke and Wat's Dyke probably represent separate attempts in the 8th century to formalise the boundary between the early historic kingdoms within Wales and Mercia to the east. Wat's Dyke runs south from Holywell to the Morda Valley near Maesbury. For the most part, Wat's dyke consists of an earthen bank, often utilising local topography and fronted, where it survives, by a ditch to the west. The size of the surviving earthworks varies considerably, reflecting differences in preservation and probably also in the original scale of construction. This section of the dyke (from SJ 1914 7695 in the north to SJ 1897 7645 in the south) includes upstanding earthworks (N section) and a terrace situated immediately below the scarp of the slope (S section). There are intermittent traces of a probable counterscarp bank on the W side of this terrace. The intentional use of topographic phenomena, sometimes artificially modified, to compliment the sections of constructed dyke is observed several times along Wat's Dyke. The monument exemplifies the typically strong alignment of Wat's Dyke along the W-facing crests of lowland river valleys and illustrates the constructional character of the dyke in such locations. The area covered by the original designation did not relate accurately to the remains on the ground; the scheduled area has been revised and extended further to the south in order to rectify the original designation.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of both early historic defensive organisation and social organisation. The monument forms an important element within the wider early historic context and the structure itself may be expected to contain archaeological information in regard to chronology, building techniques and functional detail.

The area to be scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is irregular and measures 560m from NNE to SSW by up to 25m transversely, as shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Cadw

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