Prehistoric Hampshire Canals (Dykes)

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

Database of DYKES (Linear Earthworks) in Hampshire

(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)
The Dykes1001782SU 69206 31085
Linear earthwork known as the Festaen Dic1001806SU 79658 58531
Worthy Down ditch1001907SU 45956 34805
Alresford Drive earthworks, Avington1001910SU 52358 31835
Old Pound Copse earthwork1001917SU 39632 44650
Grim's Ditch: Old Lodge Copse to Toyd Clump1003457SU 06059 22154
Boundary earthwork and barrow at Sheepbridge1003562SU 63327 23022
Grim's Ditch1004753SU 11368 23288
Leydene Ditches1005542SU 67906 19351
A hilltop enclosed by Iron Age cross dykes, an associated field system and Bronze Age barrows at Butser Hill1008692SU 71652 19141
Roman road along the south side of Vernditch Chase: part of the Roman road between Sorviodunum (Old Sarum) and Vindocladia (Badbury)1008707SU 03890 20628
Flex Ditch1008725SU 62620 61708
Linear earthwork in Gravelpit Copse and near Byes Lane, south west of Silchester1008727SU 62223 60646
Linear earthwork in Bridle's Copse, south west of Silchester1008728SU 62512 60497
Park pale known as Bishop's Dyke, and a Bronze Age bowl barrow, to the south and west of Furzy Brow1009324SU 34258 05012
Two linear earthworks, two barrows and Iron Age and Romano-British settlements on Tidpit Common Down1010762SU 06506 18090
Two linear earthworks in Vernditch Chase1010763SU 03808 21060
Knoll Camp hillfort, cross dyke, linear earthwork and hollow ways near Damerham Knoll1010764SU 09549 18844
Bowl barrow 520m north east of the shoulder angle of Bokerley Dyke on Martin Down1010869SU 03899 20103
Bowl barrow 210m north east of the junction of Grim's Ditch and Bokerley Dyke on Blagdon Hill1011003SU 05783 18194
Bowl barrow 120m north east of the junction of Grim's Ditch and Bokerley Dyke on Blagdon Hill1011004SU 05736 18117
Three adjoining linear earthworks and three bowl barrows north of Bokerley Dyke on Martin Down1011006SU 04250 20719
A linear earthwork and two bowl barrows east of Bokerley Dyke on Blagdon Hill1011007SU 05628 18174
Three sections of a linear earthwork between Churchlane Copse and Early Bridge Copse, south of Silchester1011956SU 63650 61440
A cross dyke and bowl barrow on the northern spur of Beacon Hill1012033SU 45593 57624
An unfinished hillfort, a saucer barrow, a disc barrow and sections of two linear earthworks on Ladle Hill1012038SU 47633 56628
A section of a linear earthwork south west of Great Litchfield Down1012039SU 46596 55386
Three associated linear earthworks on Martin Down1012137SU 05939 18396
Roman road north east of Vernditch Chase: part of the Roman road between Sorviodunum (Old Sarum) and Vindocladia (Badbury)1013203SU 04922 21777
Devil's Ditch within Pepper Hill Firs1015677SU 40080 47998
The Andyke, Bransbury1015678SU 42487 42797
Flint mines, linear boundary and two bowl barrows at Martin's Clump, Porton Down1017168SU 25001 38715
Cross dyke 720m west of Cheesefoot Head1020320SU 52415 27843
Round barrow cemetery, Roman road and hollow ways 200m south west of Woolmer Cottages1020502SU 78467 31999

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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