Prehistoric Herefordshire Canals (Dykes)

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

Database of DYKES (Linear Earthworks) in Herefordshire

(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)
Offa's Dyke: Rushock Hill section, extending 1630yds (1490m) E to Kennel Wood1001731SO 29562 59529
Offa's Dyke: the section extending 165yds (150m) N from Berry Wood1001732SO 32395 58700
Offa's Dyke: the section 630yds (580m) long W of Lyonshall1001733SO 32790 55995
Offa's Dyke: the section E of Garden Wood, extending SE 85yds (80m)1001734SO 33139 55387
Offa's Dyke: section NW of Holme Marsh extending 615yds (560m) to the railway1001735SO 33493 55016
Offa's Dyke: Upperton Farm, two sections extending 195yds (180m) and 370yds (340m) S from Yazor1001736SO 39458 46771
Offa's Dyke: the section extending 230yds (210m) N and S of the Old Barn near Kenmoor Coppice (SE of Bowmore Wood)1001737SO 39505 45557
Offa's Dyke: the section extending 950yds (870m) N and S of Big Oaks1001738SO 40636 43192
Row Ditch (entrenchment)1001780SO 51018 39403
Offa's Dyke: the section extending 300yds (270m) crossing the railway W of Titley Junction1003776SO 32424 57935
The Shire Ditch See also WORCESTERSHIRE 2441003812SO 76911 44047
Dyke on S side of Yatton Wood1005341SO 62846 29494
Offa's Dyke: section S of Riddings Brook on Herrock Hill1005358SO 28087 60352
North Herefordshire Rowe Ditch1005382SO 38076 58720
Offa's Dyke: the section N of Upperton Farm, extending 175yds (160m)1005525SO 39434 47134
Hereford city walls, ramparts and ditch1005528SO 50721 39884
Craswall Priory, associated building remains, pond bays and hollow ways1014536SO 27546 37442
Hertfordshire Grim's Ditch: 1150m long section between Shire Lane and Kiln Road1021203SP 92117 08977
Hertfordshire Grim's Ditch: 1350m long section between Kiln Road and Chesham Road1021204SP 93308 09264
Hertfordshire Grim's Ditch: 990m long section between Crawley's Lane and Rossway Lane1021205SP 95146 09186
Hertfordshire Grim's Ditch: 230m long section in Hamberlins Wood1021206SP 95815 08859
Hertfordshire Grim's Ditch: 210m long section immediately north west of Woodcock Hill1021207SP 97238 08140
Verulamium, part of wall and ditch of Roman city1003519TL 13573 06573
Wheathampstead earthwork incorporating Devils Dyke and the Slad1003521TL 18615 13256
Devils Ditch1003522TL 12032 08287
Mile ditches1003552TL 33315 40167
Sections of Grims Ditch1005258TL 01143 09080
Linear earthwork in Perry's Grove1005512TL 25849 17001
Mile Ditches1006787TL 33212 40329
Gannock Grove moated site and hollow-way1010907TL 36712 35464
Iron Age territorial boundary known as Beech Bottom Dyke1019136TL 14793 08781
Berkhamsted Common Romano-British villa, dyke and temple1020914TL 00270 09602

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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