Prehistoric Cumbria Canals (Dykes)

GE Map of Prehistoric Cumbria Canals (Dykes)
Prehistoric Cumbria Canals (Dykes)
Dykes in Yellow- GE
Old Map
Prehistoric Cumbria Canals (Dykes)
1800s Map
Geological Landscape
Prehistoric Cumbria Canals (Dykes)
Prehistoric Water levels (BGS Superficial Soils) – Dykes link to Waterways
Prehistoric Cumbria Canals (Dykes)
LiDAR (Low Resolution)

Database of DYKES (Linear Earthworks) in Cumbria

(Click the ‘HE Entry Ref: Number’ (if blue) for more details and Maps)

NameHE Entry Ref:NGFLength (m)Overall Width (m)Ditch Width (m)Bank Width (m)
Bishop's Dyke1007136NY 37305 518818811587
Dike, circles and cairns on Bleaberry Haws1007212SD 26727 95010
Dykes and mounds on either side of Scandal Beck1007231NY 71566 05116
Dykes and mounds on either side of Scandal Beck1007231NY 71761 05563
Dykes and mounds on either side of Scandal Beck1007231NY 72105 05601
Medieval dyke: part of deer park boundary west of Cow Green1007594NY 61505 12023
Medieval dyke: part of deer park boundary on Hazel Moor and two medieval shielings1007597NY 61356 10772
Medieval dyke: part of deer park boundary north of Cow Green1007606NY 61501 12514
Hadrian's Wall and vallum between Baron's Dike and Birky Lane at Walby, in wall miles 60, 61 and 62.1010979NY 44952 60674
Hadrian's Wall and vallum between Birky Lane at Walby and the east side of the M6 in wall miles 62 and 631010980NY 42812 59342
The vallum between the road to Garthside and the track east of Castlesteads in wall miles 54, 55 and 561010983NY 52861 64215
The vallum between the field boundary south east of Heads Wood and the A6071 road in wall mile 571010987NY 50292 62915
Hadrian's Wall and vallum from A6071 to The Cottage in the case of the Wall, and to the road to Oldwall, for the vallum, in wall miles 57, 58 and 591010988NY 49074 619082,554361013
Baron's Dike (missing)1010990NY 46262 608371,868361013 x 2
The vallum between the road to Laversdale at Oldwall and Baron's Dike in wall miles 59 and 601010990NY 47083 61223
Hadrian's Wall and vallum between the field boundaries east of milecastle 50 and the boundary west of Coombe Crag in wall miles 50 and 511010995NY 59994 65715
Hadrian's Wall and vallum between the field boundary west of Coombe Crag and Banks Green Cottage and the road to Lanercost at Banks in wall miles 51 and 521010996NY 57868 64862
Hadrian's Wall and vallum between Banks Green Cottage and the road to Lanercost at Banks and the road to Garthside in wall miles 52, 53 and 541010997NY 55485 64413
Medieval dyke system and shieling west of Shap Abbey1011638NY 54299 15080
Hadrian's Wall vallum between the dismantled railway north of Knockupworth Cottage and the dismantled railway south of Boomby Gill in wall mile 671014692NY 37018 56999
Hadrian's Wall vallum between the dismantled railway south of Boomby Gill and the field boundary south east of Mill Beck in wall mile 681014693NY 36491 57471
Hadrian's Wall vallum between Mill Beck and the field boundary east of Kirkandrews Farm in wall mile 691014695NY 35691 58186570361013 x 2
Hadrian's Wall vallum between the dismantled railway west of Kirkandrews Farm and the dismantled railway south east of Burgh by Sands in wall miles 70 and 711014697NY 34087 58706
Hadrian's Wall vallum between the watercourse 400m south east of Glasson and the access road to Glendale caravan park in wall miles 76 and 771014700NY 25183 60654
Hadrian's Wall and vallum between the access road to Glendale caravan park and the track south of Kirkland House in wall miles 77 and 781014701NY 24447 61426
Hadrian's Wall vallum between the track south of Kirkland House and Bowness-on-Solway in wall miles 78 and 791016021NY 23607 62026
Scots' Dike1016860NY 36136 735665,583436 x 231
Hadrian's Wall vallum between the M6 motorway and Drawdykes Castle in wall mile 641017943NY 41939 58608
Hadrian's Wall vallum between Drawdykes Castle and Whiteclosegate in wall mile 641017944NY 41568 58297
Hadrian's Wall vallum between the boundaries north of the properties on Whiteclosegate and the field boundary west of Wall Knowe in wall miles 64 and 651017947NY 40837 57676
Waitby Castle enclosed Romano-British settlement and part of a medieval dyke1018063NY 75692 08321
Hadrian's Wall Vallum between West End, Burgh by Sands and the eastern boundary of Dykesfield1018308NY3148759090
Hadrian's Wall between the east end of Davidson's Banks and road to Grinsdale and vallum between Davidson's Banks and dismantled railway in wall miles 67 and 681018309NY 37412 56694
Hadrian's Wall vallum between east side of road at Burgh Head, and boundary south of Ash Tree Square, Burgh-by-Sands in wall miles 71 and 721018458NY 32529 59025
Eastfield Sike medieval moated site, associated fishpond, and medieval woodland boundary banks and ditches at Burtergill Wood and Kiln Hill1018598NY 76413 16327

Dykes Ditches and Earthworks

Indeed, the modern term “dyke” or “dijk” can be traced back to its Dutch origins.  As early as the 12th century, the construction of Dykes in the Netherlands was a well-established practice.  One remarkable example of their ingenuity is the Westfriese Omringdijk, stretching an impressive 126 kilometres (78 miles), completed by 1250.  This Dyke was formed by connecting existing older ‘dykes’, showcasing the Dutch mastery in managing their aquatic landscape.

The Roman chronicler Tacitus even provides an intriguing historical account of the Batavi, a rebellious people who employed a unique defence strategy during the year AD 70.  They punctured the Dykes daringly, deliberately flooding their land to thwart their enemies and secure their retreat.  This historical incident highlights the vital role Dykes played in the region’s warfare and water management.

Originally, the word “dijk” encompassed both the trench and the bank, signifying a comprehensive understanding of the Dyke’s dual nature – as both a protective barrier and a channel for water control.  This multifaceted concept reflects the profound connection between the Dutch people and their battle against the ever-shifting waters that sought to reclaim their land.

The term “dyke” evolved as time passed, and its usage spread beyond the Dutch borders.  Today, it represents not only a symbol of the Netherlands’ engineering prowess but also a universal symbol of human determination in the face of the relentless forces of nature.  The legacy of these ancient Dykes lives on, a testament to the resilience and innovation of those who shaped the landscape to withstand the unyielding currents of time.

Upon studying archaeology, whether at university or examining detailed ordinance survey maps, one cannot help but encounter peculiar earthworks scattered across the British hillsides.  Astonishingly, these enigmatic features often lack a rational explanation for their presence and purpose.  Strangely enough, these features are frequently disregarded in academic circles, brushed aside, or provided with flimsy excuses for their existence.  The truth is, these earthworks defy comprehension unless we consider overlooked factors at play.

One curious observation revolves around the term “Dyke,” inherently linked to water.  It seems rather peculiar to apply such a word to an earthwork atop a hill unless an ancestral history has imparted its actual function through the ages.  Let us consider the celebrated “Offa’s Dyke,” renowned for its massive linear structure, meandering along some of the present boundaries between England and Wales.  This impressive feat stands as a testament to the past, seemingly demarcating the realms of the Anglian kingdom of Mercia and the Welsh kingdom of Powys during the 8th century.

However, delving further into the evidence and historical accounts challenges this seemingly straightforward explanation.  Roman historian Eutropius, in his work “Historiae Romanae Breviarium”, penned around 369 AD, mentions a grand undertaking by Septimius Severus, the Roman Emperor, from 193 AD to 211 AD.  In his pursuit of fortifying the conquered British provinces, Severus constructed a formidable wall stretching 133 miles from coast to coast.

Yet, intriguingly, none of the known Roman defences match this precise length.  Hadrian’s Wall, renowned for its defensive prowess, spans a mere 70 miles.  Could Eutropius have referred to Offa’s Dyke, which bears remarkable similarity to the Roman practice of initially erecting banks and ditches for defence?

For more information click HERE

Further Reading

For information about British Prehistory, visit for the most extensive archaeology blogs and investigations collection, including modern LiDAR reports.  This site also includes extracts and articles from the Robert John Langdon Trilogy about Britain in the Prehistoric period, including titles such as The Stonehenge Enigma, Dawn of the Lost Civilisation and the ultimate proof of Post Glacial Flooding and the landscape we see today.

Robert John Langdon has also created a YouTube web channel with over 100 investigations and video documentaries to support his classic trilogy (Prehistoric Britain). He has also released a collection of strange coincidences that he calls ‘13 Things that Don’t Make Sense in History’ and his recent discovery of a lost Stone Avenue at Avebury in Wiltshire called ‘Silbury Avenue – the Lost Stone Avenue’.

Langdon has also produced a series of ‘shorts’, which are extracts from his main body of books:

The Ancient Mariners

Stonehenge Built 8300 BCE

Old Sarum

Prehistoric Rivers

Dykes ditches and Earthworks

Echoes of Atlantis

Homo Superior

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