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High Park cross dyke


Nearest Town:Church Stretton (3km SSE)
OS Ref (GB):   SO4437296765 / Sheet: 137
Latitude:52° 33' 55.57" N
Longitude:   2° 49' 14.78" W

Added by thesweetcheat

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English Heritage description:

The monument includes a substantial cross-dyke, a linear bank, a sample of ridge and furrow and two sub-circular features. The cross-dyke lies orientated NNW to SSE crossing a broad roughly east to west ridge, ending on the edge of a steep sided gully in the south and a somewhat more shallow gully in the north. The earthwork is cut by a modern field boundary 130m from its north end, the portion to the north being within enclosed sheep pasture, that to the south in open moorland. As a result the survival characteristics of the two sections of earthwork differ. The northern portion is visible as a substantial earth and stone bank 142m long averaging 6m wide and 0.8m high, surmounted by a modern hedge bank and hedge. This is cut at its southern end, immediately north of the fence line, by a modern break 3m wide. Though there are no surviving physical traces of a ditch alongside the bank, differential growth in the grass cover on the west side suggests that a ditch does survive here as a buried feature. The larger portion of the dyke lies to the south of the enclosed land in open moorland; here it includes a linear bank some 240m long, averaging 8m wide and varying between 0.2m and 0.8m high on its east, downslope, side, 0.8m to 1.2m high on its west, upslope, side. The bank is flanked along its west side by a clearly visible ditch which averages 5m wide and 0.6m deep. This appears to be a continuation of the buried ditch noted as a crop-mark in the northern section of the earthwork. A second bank, 1.5m wide and 0.2m high, lies parallel to the main embankment on the west side. It commences 4m south of the modern field boundary and runs for some 68m south before fading out. From this point a section of the ditch running roughly between 69m and 91m south of the hedgeline appears to have been re-cut into the base of the main ditch, giving an incised ditch 1m wide and 0.2m deep at the base of the embankment. The southern portion of the cross-dyke is cut in three places: immediately south of the field boundary a trackway 4m wide runs parallel to the edge of the enclosed land, the track cutting through the bank and lying on a level roughly at the bottom of the ditch. The double bank, strengthening the cross-dyke defences at this point, suggests that this is the position of an original entrance gap. A hill drain 2m wide cuts through the earthworks 51m south of the field boundary and a second trackway cuts through both the bank and ditch some 130m south of the hedgeline. The second trackway cutting is 2m wide and incised 0.6m into the old land surface, below the base level of the ditch. Though it appears modern, its position may also represent the original location of an entrance gap through the earthworks. The cross-dyke would have functioned as a boundary structure associated with a system of land management during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. To the east of the cross-dyke some 93m south from the hedgeline and running roughly at right angles to the main dyke, a medieval field bank abuts onto the earthwork. It runs east for some considerable distance averaging 2m wide, 0.2m high on its north side and 0.4m on its south side, where it is flanked by a ditch 1m wide and 0.1m deep. The area to the north of this bank, between it and the enclosed land, shows evidence of vestigial ridge and furrow; it lies orientated east to west and averages 4m wide. At the northern end of the section of earthwork, in open moorland, are two sub-circular rubble walled features, the remains of small huts or animal shelters. One is located on the alignment of the main ditch and overlies the western bank; its south and west sides survive as a low rubble wall averaging 0.5m wide and 0.1m high abutted onto the main bank. The second lies 18m east and 10m south of the hedgeline. It comprises a low rubble wall of similar construction forming a small oval structure 7.4m east to west by 6m north to south with walls 0.2m high on their external face, 0.1m high on their internal face and is open on the south side. All modern boundary features overlying the monument, and the water tank building at SO44329694 are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
2nd January 2012ce