I've been trying to get up to this henge for yonks. It seems like every time I planned a visit something would happen to prevent it. This time, not only did I get to visit the henge but I did it in the excellent company of Rockrich and Paulus.
We walked up to the site from the little car park at Thornton Rust checking out a couple of decent sized glacial erratics on the way.
The henge itself lies just off the lovely walled trackway running up onto Flout Moor and is accessible if you can negotiate a rutted, muddy track and a stile.
The monument is a Class I type henge with a single entrance in the east. It has been built on a ridge and fits in beautifully with the folds of the landscape. The henge is set back from any possible routeways along Wensleydale to Cumbria, Harding speculates that this small henge (80m in diameter) may have served a small community. He describes the location of the henge as a possible attempt "to seperate the monument from what could be perceived as social pollution".
Whatever it's original purpose, the henge has beautiful views to east along Wensleydale to the nearby Burton Moor settlement and into the Vale of Mobray with the far off North York Moors across the Vale in the distance. There are also good views to the north and the site of the Ox Close Circle and Caperby Moor.
All in all this is a cracking little henge set in a beautiful landscape
(SD 98238730) Castle Dykes (NR). (1) SD 982873 - Class I henge consisting of an oval enclosure (175 x 195 ft) bounded by a well-preserved ditch and external bank with entrance of E side. Two small gaps in the bank (without corresponding causeways across the ditch) are probably modern and used as an
overflow for water collecting in the ditch. There is no sign of any stone structure in the central area. (2)
A well preserved Class I henge. Prominently situated at SD 98238728 on the top (though not the summit) of an east to west hill spur. It measures 74.0m east to west by 67.8m north to south between the centres of the bank 9.0m wide and 1.2m high. The ditch, averaging 10.5m wide and 1.1m deep, has been slightly infilled by weathering especially near the entrance, 4.0m wide, in the east which has lessened the profile of the causeway. As suggested two small gaps
in the bank in the north east and south are merely mutilation. The level interior is featureless. Surveyed at 1:10 000. (3)
Entry in corpus. Sub-circular enclosure defined by a ditch and outer bank. A large stone is situated on the inside slope of the bank in the SE sector and there are reports of other stones having been removed. Comment: Insufficient information available, but cannot be ruled out as henge-related. (4)
SD 9822 8728. Castle Dykes Henge. Scheduled RSM No 24481. It is reported that an excavation of the site by Canon Wylie took place in 1908, though no positive trace of this survives and the site appears largely undisturbed. (5)
Castle Dykes is a slightly oval henge with the unusual aspect of having an extenal ditch. It is 75m wide and has an external bank that is 9m wide and 1.2m high. The ditch is 9m wide and 1m deep. The only entrance was on the east side side.