Prehistoric Yorkshire Canals (Dykes)

GE Map of Prehistoric Yorkshire Canals (Dykes)
Prehistoric Yorkshire Canals (Dykes)
Prehistoric Yorkshire Canals (Dykes) 5
Old Map
Prehistoric Yorkshire Canals (Dykes)
1800s Map
Geological Landscape
Prehistoric Yorkshire Canals (Dykes)
Prehistoric Water levels (BGS Superficial Soils) – Dykes link to Waterways
Prehistoric Yorkshire Canals (Dykes)
LiDAR (Low Resolution)

Database of DYKES (Linear Earthworks) in Yorkshire

(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)
Dyke 220yds (200m) W of Dyke House1004043SE 03680 98557
Dyke 270yds (250m) E of Dyke House1004044SE 04322 98440
Fortress Dyke camp1004081SE 17891 73178
Boundary dyke W of Capon Hall1004115SD 86400 66894
Double dykes on Painter Rigg1004175SE 57887 80439
Canklow Hill earthworks1004818SK 43392 90405
Double Dyke1004834SK 54863 97890
The Three Dykes (or Five Riggs)1004911SE 80460 68963
Earthwork on the Sheepwalk stretching N from Wold Gate for 530yds (480m)1005223TA 09937 66110
Argam dykes1005234TA 10271 68967
A cross-dyke from Birdsall Brow to Vessey Pasture Dale incorporating two bowl barrows and a cross-dyke extending from Water Dale1007444SE 82544 62317
Aldro earthworks: a cross-dyke on Birdsall Wold, 400m east of Aldro Farm1007455SE 81275 62771
Aldro earthworks: two linear boundaries and a bowl barrow on Birdsall Wold, south of Aldro Farm1007469SE 80703 62746
Aldro earthworks: a cross-dyke on Birdsall Wold, 200m west of Brown Moor Farm1007485SE 80707 62149
Aldro earthworks: a bowl barrow on Hanging Grimston Wold 100m west of Stone Sleights Farm1007497SE 80252 61689
Aldro earthworks: a bowl barrow on Hanging Grimston Wold 50m north-west of Stone Sleights Farm1007498SE 80342 61722
Aldro earthworks: a cross-dyke on Hanging Grimston Wold, 350m south-east of Brown Moor Farm1007499SE 81233 61875
Aldro earthworks: a linear boundary, two cross-dykes and nine round barrows on Birdsall Wold1007500SE 80429 63250
Four bowl barrows and parts of two linear boundary earthworks and a cross-dyke 750m west of Wharram Percy Farm1007535SE 83788 63503
A cross-dyke in Vessey Pasture Dale1007612SE 83314 62279
A cross-dyke on Birdsall Brow1007613SE 82643 63389
A cross-dyke from Toisland Wold to Vessey Pasture Dale incorporating a bowl barrow1007614SE 83483 62531
Linear earthwork running from the head of Warren Dale towards Sledmere Field Farm and associated settlement site1007736SE 94647 61478
Linear earthwork north east of Collingwood Farm1007862SE 95494 66306
Section of linear earthwork 200m north east of Pasture Cottages1007863SE 97482 67907
Section of linear earthwork in Pasture Plantation1007864SE 98024 68324
The Queen Dike: part of a cross-dyke 600m east of Wold Farm1007919SE 81039 61250
Two linear earthworks on Row Brow which extend into Raincliffe Woods1008131TA 00580 88360
Section of linear earthwork on Seamer Moor Hill1008135TA 01625 86677
A cross dyke on Knapton Wold, 500m west of West Farm1008381SE 89082 74415
Hanging Grimston barrow group: four bowl barrows and part of a cross dyke 600m SSW of Thixendale Grange1008484SE 81596 60315
Castle Dykes Henge1008878SD 98231 87289
Pit alignment forming part of the Cleave Dyke system 1000m north west of Dialstone Farm1010345SE 51133 85006
Group of round barrows and cross ridge dyke at Sunny Bank1010528SE 52725 89298
Section of the Cleave Dyke system on Arden Little Moor1010532SE 49280 90163
Section of the Cleave Dyke system on Arden Little Moor known as Steeple Cross Dyke including the Steeple Cross boundary stone1010533SE 50262 90348
Section of the Cleave Dyke system near High Barn1010534SE 50713 86665
Maiden Bower and Cock Lodge: a motte and bailey castle, moated site, windmill mound and associated linear outwork1011612SE 40844 75134
Deepdale cross ridge dyke1011913SE 84344 51378
Linear earthwork to the NW of the junction of the A171 and the road leading to Fylingthorpe1011961NZ 92202 04629
Linear earthwork south east of the junction of the A171 and the road leading to Fylingthorpe1011971NZ 92267 04513
Tor Dike linear earthwork1012003SD 98136 75477
Linear earthwork at High Harker Hill1012602SE 02368 97045
Linear earthwork at Harker Mires1012617SE 03863 97427
Section of the Cleave Dyke system, known as the Casten Dike, 300m ENE of Hambleton Inn1012743SE 52637 83152
Section of the Cleave Dyke system 45m east of the visitors' centre at Sutton Bank1012745SE 51687 83090
Section of Cleave Dyke, 1.4km long from Sneck Yate Plantation to east edge of Town's Pasture Wood including two pit alignments and round barrow1012746SE 50830 86510
Two sections of the Cleave Dyke system, one known as the Casten Dike, and a round barrow south of Kilburn Moor Plantation1012992SE 51882 82749
Section of the Cleave Dyke system 200m south east of Yorkshire Gliding Club1012993SE 51951 81631
Section of Danes' Dyke between the Cliff Plantation and the B12551013191TA 21523 69753
Section of the Danes' Dyke between the B1255 and B1229 roads1013192TA 21386 70224
Section of Danes' Dyke from the B1229 north to Wold Farm field boundary1013193TA 21251 71395
Northern section of the Danes' Dyke from Wold Farm field boundary to Bempton Cliffs1013194TA 21309 72326
Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary in Low Wood, Langdale1013303NZ 19489 09620
Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary 235m south of Stanwick Hall Reservoir1013304NZ 19739 09148
Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary 250m north of Langdale1013306NZ 19498 10147
Byland Abbey Cistercian monastery: monastic precinct, water-management earthworks, enclosures, ancillary buildings and quarries1013403SE 54679 79184
Section of cross ridge dyke and earthworks in Roman Plantation, Oulston Moor1013438SE 56392 74868
Section of cross ridge dyke and hollow way 200m north west of Pond Head Farm1013439SE 56463 74678
Section of the Cleave Dyke system known as the Kepwick Dyke on Arden Little Moor1013591SE 49460 90697
Cross dyke in Scarrish Wood1013695SE 72391 72647
Linear dyke extending for 2.2km in Coneysthorpe Banks Wood1013696SE 72758 72130
Linear dyke extending for 2.1km from Fryton West Wood to Slingsby Banks Wood1013697SE 69350 73260
Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary and portion of field system 100m east of Whitefields Farm1013777NZ 18578 01243
Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary 75m south west of Sandford House1013778NZ 18231 00856
Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary running south from Olliver East for 550m1013779NZ 18674 02886
Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary 150m ENE of Olliver1013780NZ 18731 03217
Section of Scots Dyke linear boundary east of Langdale Rush1014240NZ 19722 09392
Cairnfield, enclosures, boulder walling, hollow way and carved rocks towards edge of Snowden Carr centred at 370m south east of Crag House1014304SE 17832 51283
Cross dyke 850m WSW of Baysdale Farm1014373NZ 60750 06650
Section of Scots Dike linear boundary south of Kirklands Farm1014797NZ 19268 05896
Section of Scots Dike linear boundary north of Kirklands Farm1014798NZ 19455 06329
Section of Scots Dike linear boundary north west of High Merrybent1014799NZ 19503 06999
Cross ridge dyke north of North Ings Slack and west of Hob on the Hill tumulus1015266NZ 64523 12103
Section of the Scots Dyke linear boundary 250m south east of St Martin's Priory1015516NZ 17960 00592
Section of linear boundary dyke in and extending to the north west of Farclose Plantation towards Waterman Hole1015559SE 85979 56514
Sections of single and multiple linear boundary dykes on Huggate Pasture and Frendal Dale1015560SE 85774 55899
Sections of linear boundary dyke in Frendal Dale, Tun Dale, and Great Plantation, between Millington and Huggate Wolds1015561SE 85386 55518
Section of single linear boundary dyke in Great Plantation, Greenwick Dale, 250m east of East Greenwick Farm1015562SE 85530 56703
Section of single linear boundary dyke in Stable Plantation, Greenwick Dale, 400m south west of East Greenwick Farm1015563SE 84995 56428
Section of single linear boundary dyke east of York Lane, south east of Farclose Plantation1015564SE 86422 56096
Section of single linear boundary dyke in Horse Dale, 550m north west of Glebe Farm1015565SE 87104 56314
Section of a single and double linear boundary dyke in Horse Dale, and the junctions of Holm Dale and Harper Dale, north west of Northfield Farm1015566SE 88155 56966
Sections of linear boundary dyke in Harper Dale and Holm Dale, north east of Horsedale Plantation1015567SE 88276 57700
Section of linear boundary dyke in Harper Dale Plantation north east of Northfield Farm1015568SE 89337 57614
Section of linear boundary dyke south of Middleham Plantation and Harper Dale Plantation1015569SE 90199 58215
Sections of linear boundary dyke in Cow Dale Plantation, Rabbit Dale and Oxland Plantation1015570SE 90733 57838
Section of linear boundary dyke on Cow Moor, Millington Dale1015571SE 84730 53667
Section of double linear boundary dyke west of Far Out Field, Millington Wold1015572SE 83874 55668
Section of double linear boundary dyke 300m north east of Millington Grange Farm1015573SE 83519 55118
Section of linear boundary dyke on Millington Lings 625m north east of High Callis Wold1015574SE 83645 56230
Section of the Cleave Dyke system known as Hesketh Dike and Silver Hill round barrow1015575SE 51305 87793
Pit alignment, part of the Cleave Dyke prehistoric boundary system and round barrow 450m south east of High Paradise1015576SE 50615 88363
Section of linear boundary dyke 160m west of High Callis Wold Farm1015609SE 83012 55735
Section of linear boundary dyke 390m west of South Wold Farm1015610SE 81601 57106
Sections of multiple linear dykes 125m south west of Cot Nab Farm1015611SE 81632 56767
Urra Moor prehistoric linear boundary on the western edge of Urra Moor1015955NZ 57739 02048
Section of linear boundary dyke between Sylvan Dale and Warren Farm, north west of Coldwold Farm1016191SE 84387 52279
Grinton ore hearth lead smelt mill, flue, fuel store and associated earthworks1016203SE 05016 96480
Cross dyke 600m north west of Easthorpe Farm1016261SE 72925 72114
Length of linear earthworks known as Becca Banks and The Ridge, part of the Aberford Dyke system, between Aberford and a quarry 590m north of Ass Bridge1016951SE 42029 38164
Length of linear earthwork, part of the Aberford Dyke system, at Green Hill between Aberford and the Aberford By-pass1016952SE 43499 37685
Linear earthwork, part of the Aberford Dyke system, extending 770m east from Humphrey Dale Cottage1016953SE 44206 38131
Linear earthworks known as Woodhouse Moor Rein and South Dyke, part of the Aberford Dyke system1016954SE 44490 37171
Cross dyke on Gerrick Moor, 690m north west of Black Beck Swang1016992NZ 70328 11403
The Moor Dikes and Craddlegrip Dike prehistoric linear boundaries and other prehistoric remains in Wykeham Forest1017164SE 96079 86875
Prehistoric linear boundary in Craddlegrip Wood, 900m north west of High Yedmandale1017165SE 96523 87394
Pit alignment on Black Dike Moor, 800m south west of Nan Stone1017305NZ 74473 10662
The Bar Dyke linear earthwork1017508SK 24622 94606
Section of the Scots Dyke linear boundary 225m south of St Martin's Priory1018143NZ 17777 00530
Late prehistoric enclosed settlement known as Round Dykes Camp on Addingham Low Moor1018259SE 05518 50121
Late prehistoric enclosed settlement with an outlying bank and ditch on Counter Hill, 220m north east of Moorcock Hall1018260SE 04782 49869
Ewden Beck round barrow cemetery and cross-dyke1018590SK 23565 96325
Blackpark cross dyke and standing stone, 330m north east of Blackpark Lodge1018594SE 75319 91034
Nutholm cross dyke, 100m south of Appleton Mill Farm1018596SE 74638 87747
Fall Rigg cross dyke and round barrow, 710m north of Sycamore Farm1018599SE 75820 90170
High Stone Dike, southern of two cross dykes on Castleton Rigg1018770NZ 68207 03985
Northern of two cross dykes on Castleton Rigg, 600m north west of Stormy Hall1018771NZ 68318 04737
Hart Leap cross dyke on Glaisdale Rigg, 240m and 410m north of Highdale Farm1018772NZ 73504 03474
Danby Rigg cairnfields, cross dykes, funerary monuments and associated features1018782NZ 70922 06384
Length of Grim's Ditch immediately north of Gamblethorpe1018791SE 37489 30512
Length of Grim's Ditch partly under Bullerthorpe Lane 620m north of Gamblethorpe1018792SE 37514 31062
Length of Grim's Ditch extending 1.4km from a point 70m south of Cotton Road East to the south east corner of Avenue Wood1018793SE 37510 31981
Length of Grim's Ditch from Cotton Road East to the A63, Colton Common1018794SE 37592 32985
Length of Grim's Ditch immediately east of Barrowby Road1018795SE 37607 33438
Cross dyke on Glaisdale Rigg, 520m and 250m west of Highdale Farm1018842NZ 72954 03251
Length of linear earthwork known as The Ridge, part of the Aberford Dyke system, 560m east of Potterton Bridge1018953SE 40811 38045
Dyke at the north eastern end of Stone Bridge Howl, 760m north west of Court House Farm1019339SE 59167 82360
Linear boundary earthwork 370m east of Oscar Park Farm1019340SE 57872 87644
Linear dyke known as Double Dikes, in Waterloo Plantation1019346SE 58412 81558
Northern section of prehistoric linear boundary with intersecting hollow ways, known as Rise Dikes, in Wykeham Forest1019368SE 94169 86711
Southern section of prehistoric linear boundary known as Rise Dikes, in Wykeham Forest1019372SE 94006 86427
Embanked pit alignments, linear earthworks, round barrows and cairns on Ebberston Low Moor1019601SE 90485 89752
The Thieves' Dikes: prehistoric linear boundaries and associated features1019627SE 97232 92942
Cross ridge dyke known as Gallows Dike and three round barrows 330m south west of Glebe Farm1019750SE 84877 94071
Prehistoric cross dyke 980m west of Foulsike Farm including a standing stone known as Old Wife's Neck1019754NZ 90339 02179
Cross dyke in Cloughton Plantations, 550m and 890m north east of Gowland Farm1019772SE 99619 96123
Length of linear earthwork, part of the Aberford Dyke system, at Field Lane between the Aberford By-pass and Humphrey Dale Cottage1019873SE 43741 37910
Horn Ridge cross dyke, cairnfield, round cairn and prehistoric hut circles1019969SE 66009 96306
Section of Cleave Dyke prehistoric boundary on Hambleton Down and World War II bombing decoy shelters north east and north of Garbutt Farm1020105SE 51296 84488
Medieval dyke known as Green Dike1020116NZ 97000 00538
Prehistoric dyke known as Horcum Dike1020117SE 84841 93020
Medieval dyke known as War Dike1020118SE 99438 99960
Prehistoric linear boundary in Dalby Forest, known as Dargate Dikes1020212SE 89463 91221
Embanked pit alignment 130m south and 310m SSE of Jingleby House1020217SE 89341 89408
Prehistoric linear boundary known as Snainton Dikes, 740m east of Ebberston Common House1020299SE 90750 89138
Medieval manorial complex, garden and water management features, St Mary's chapel, and a linear earthwork forming part of the Aberford Dyke system1020326SE 46251 36791
Section of linear boundary in Dalby Forest, 630m north west of Jingleby Tower1020335SE 88393 89530
Two intersecting linear boundaries in Dalby Forest, immediately west of Jingleby Tower1020336SE 88649 89064
Cross dyke 900m west of Backleys Farm1020534SE 91856 90348
Part of a cross dyke with associated warrening features, 850m south east of High Rigg Farm1020651SE 86992 88223
Prehistoric linear boundary on Stonygate Moor, 550m west of Warren House Farm1020695SE 86893 84608
Prehistoric linear boundary in Ellerburn Wood, 370m north west of St Hilda's Church1020696SE 83986 84481
Two prehistoric linear boundaries with associated features, 680m ESE and 880m NNE of Pexton Moor Farm1020699SE 85095 84759
Three embanked pit alignments and segments of a linear boundary and a medieval hollow way, 300m west of Givendale Head Farm1020830SE 88992 87480
Oxmoor and Givendale Dikes: prehistoric linear boundaries and associated features1020834SE 89723 87364
Scamridge Dikes: prehistoric linear boundaries and associated features1020835SE 89634 85516
Prehistoric linear boundary and associated features including a medieval monastic grange, north, east and south east of Moorsome Farm1020836SE 91426 85384
Prehistoric linear boundary and associated features centred 500m north east of High Bride Stones1021099SE 87501 91979
East Toft Dike: a cross dyke 720m south and 680m south west of Little Marfit Head1021100SE 85265 92156
Cross dyke on Far Black Rigg, 1060m north west of Black Dale Bridge1021101SE 84270 92022
Cross dyke on Saltergate Brow, 750m south east of Barr Farm1021166SE 85871 94356
Cross dyke centred 480m south of Fox and Rabbit Farm1021170SE 84385 87750
Two segments of a prehistoric linear boundary 530m north and 200m north east of Beacon Farm1021236TA 01006 87380
Skell Dikes: a prehistoric linear boundary with two associated round barrows and an adjoining pit alignment1021238SE 99312 87178
Kirby Bank Trod, a section of paved trackway extending 400m southwards from just east of The Warren1405913NZ5419103775

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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