Prehistoric Shropshire Canals (Dykes)

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

Database of DYKES (Linear Earthworks) in Shropshire

(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: section 550yds (500m) long, on Bakers Hill1002933SJ 25286 31648
Offa's Dyke: section 2/3 mile (1170m) long, N from southern boundary of Rownal Covert1003013SO 23234 98771
Offa's Dyke: section 360yds (330m) long, Llynclys Hill1003014SJ 26995 23611
Offa's Dyke: section 300yds (270m) long, N of Pentre-Shannel1003019SJ 25648 28001
Upper Short Ditch Also in Powys: Wales1003244SO 19238 86927
Offa's Dyke: section 1600yds (1460m) long, N from St John the Baptist's Church to River Unk1003246SO 26289 88355
Offa's Dyke: section one mile 750yds (2290m) from Dudston Covert to a point 300yds (274m) N of Lack Brook Also in Powys: Wales1003797SO 24229 95679
Offa's Dyke: section one mile 1000yds (2520m) long, N of Llanforda Mill1004766SJ 25451 28726
Offa's Dyke: section 380m west of Pottery Cottages1004767SJ2578527498
Offa's Dyke: section 220yds (200m) long, N from Royal Oak Inn, Treflach Wood1004768SJ 25935 25613
Offa's Dyke: section 330yds (300m) S from Treflach Wood1004769SJ 25816 25193
Offa's Dyke: section 1/2 mile (800m) long, SE from county boundary to River Unk Also in Powys: Wales1004777SO 25997 89119
Offa's Dyke: section 200yds (180m) long, at Careg-y-Big1006238SJ 25263 32280
Three Roman camps NW of Brompton Mill including tumulus and section of Offa's Dyke1006247SO 24956 93423
Offa's Dyke: section 400yds (370m) long, E of Llawnt1006250SJ 25534 30897
Offa's Dyke: section NW of Ditches Farm Also in Powys: Wales1006257SO 24758 94156
Offa's Dyke: section 400yds (370m) long S of Rownal Covert1006258SO 23457 97624
Offa's Dyke: two sections running 400yds (370m) S of Camlad Stream Also in Powys: Wales1006259SO 23213 98939
Offa's Dyke: section 200yds (180m) long, S of The Royal Oak Inn1006260SJ 25884 25315
Offa's Dyke: section 50yds (45m) long, SW of Crane Rock1006261SJ2593126030
Offa's Dyke: section 170m south-east of Fron1006262SJ2591627065
Offa's Dyke: section 410m long, E of Llawnt1006263SJ 25393 31173
Offa's Dyke: section 250yds (230m) long, S of Careg-y-Big1006264SJ 25281 32011
Offa's Dyke: section 300yds (270m) long, S of Pen-y-Bryn Also in Clwyd: Wales1006265SJ 26196 37328
Offa's Dyke: section 1300yds (1190m) long, N from Careg-y-Big1006266SJ 25189 32858
Offa's Dyke: section 430yds (390m) in length S of Chirbury-Montgomery road1006271SO 23596 97285
Bowl barrow on Grindle Nills Hill, the northern of two 400m south-east of Barrister's Plain cross dyke.1007351SO 42900 92442
Bowl barrow on Grindle Nills Hill, the southern of two 400m south-east of Barrister's Plain cross dyke.1007352SO 42858 92404
Cross-dyke on Ratlinghope Hill, 740m north of Brow Farm1007699SO 40355 97520
Cross-dyke on Barrister's Plain, 800m south east of Narnell's Rock1007703SO 42594 92742
Cross-dyke at Devil's Mouth, west of Burway Hill1007704SO 43966 94232
Cross dyke and hut platform on the summit of The Lawley, 100m south west of OS trig pillar.1008490SO 49439 97408
Cross-dyke, field bank, ridge and furrow and hut structures 400m south of High Park House1009316SO 44372 96765
Motte and bailey castle and line of Offa's Dyke adjacent to Brompton Mill1013496SO 25108 93153
Old Oswestry hillfort, and two adjacent sections of Wat's Dyke1014899SJ 29574 31019
Bryn-y-Castell and a section of Wat's Dyke adjacent to Preeshenlle United Reformed Church1019835SJ 30434 34061
Earl's Hill Camp: a small multivallate hillfort and an adjacent cross dyke on Pontesford Hill1020152SJ 40837 04670
Wat's Dyke: 140m long section, 370m south west of Gobowen Station1020559SJ 30167 33080
Wat's Dyke: 180m long section, 170m east of Pentre-wern1020560SJ 30122 32898
Wat's Dyke: 110m long section, 620m south east of Henlle Home Farm1020561SJ 30606 34854
Wat's Dyke: section 350m long, 540m east of Weston Farm1020562SJ 30005 28129
The Lower Short Ditch1020563SO 22289 88215
Wat's Dyke:80m long section and adjacent cultivation terraces 540m east of Oswestry Castle1020564SJ 29600 29875
Wat's Dyke, 490m long section, immediately north and south of Preeshenelle Bridge1020615SJ 30791 35599
Wat's Dyke, 380m long section, immediately east of the Sewage Works1020616SJ 30209 27309
Wat's Dyke, 420m long section, 190m west of the junction between Preeshenlle Lane and St Martin's Road1020617SJ 30487 34294
Wat's Dyke: 365m long section, extending from 45m north east of Gate House on Shrewsbury Road1020618SJ 29793 28978
Wat's Dyke: 375m long section immediately south of Middleton Road and west of Laburnum Drive1020619SJ 29679 29344
Offa's Dyke: section 430m north east of Middle Knuck Farm1020896SO 26217 86974
Offa's Dyke: section 400m east of Cwm Farm1020897SO 26130 85471
Offa's Dyke: section 575m north west of Myndtown1020898SO 25914 84466
Offa's Dyke: section 175m east of Cefn Bronydd1020899SO 25828 83822
Offa's Dyke: section 730m south east of The Yew Tree1020900SO 25687 82141
Offa's Dyke: section 400m south west of Springhill Farm1020901SO 25389 80431
Offa's Dyke: section on the western slope of Llanfair Hill, 1.4km south west of Burfield1020902SO 25401 78627
Offa's Dyke: section 890m north west and 320m west of Little Selley1020903SO 26244 77230
Offa's Dyke: section 400m north and 170m east of Selley Hall1020904SO 26605 76641
Offa's Dyke: section 90m south of Brynorgan1020905SO 26807 76247
Offa's Dyke: section 650m east of Cwm-sanaham1020906SO 27205 75470
Offa's Dyke: section 475m north east of Nether Skyborry1020907SO 27983 74118
Offa's Dyke: section 90m east of Ty Gwyn1020948SJ 25931 24378

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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