Information on Cross-dyke At Devil's Mouth, Church Stretton

  • District name:Shropshire (code: E06000051)
  • Parish name:Church Stretton
  • Grade:Not applicable to this List entry.
  • Legacy system:RSM
  • Legacy uid:19113
  • Date of most recent amendment:04-Feb-1994
  • Asset groupings:This List entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for knowledge.
  • Point mapped:The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
  • Latitude:49.766807220132
  • Longtitude:-7.5571598037
  • Easting:43966
  • Northing:94232
Cross-dyke At Devil's Mouth is valuable for its historical worth and architectural features. This place is located in the Church Stretton in Shropshire . It belongs to grade Not applicable to this List entry. of the Listed Buildings System categories and is registered under the UID number 19113. Apart from these sites, some other attractions surrounding this place include Abbotswood , Two Cairns South-east Of The Stone Alignment South-west Of Glasscombe Corner and Fillingham Castle .

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Other information

Designation summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national significance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Reasons for designation

Cross dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.2km and 1km long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to one or more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across ridges and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on aerial photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation and analogy with associated monuments shows that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, even though they may have been re-used later. Current knowledge favours the view that they were used as territorial boundary markers, perhaps demarcating land allotment within communities, even though they may also have been used as trackways, cattle droveways or defensive earthworks. Cross dykes are one of the few monument types which illustrate how land was divided up in the prehistoric period. They are of considerable significance for any analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age. Very few have survived until today and hence all well- preserved examples are considered to be of national significance. The cross-dyke at Devil's Mouth, despite being disturbed in its central area, survives well and is a good example of its class. It will retain important evidence in the deposits within the bank and the ditch fill and environmental evidence, referring to the landscape in which the monument was constructed, sealed beneath the bank on the old land surface. The monument is one of several cross-dykes which occur in similar ridge top situations on the Long Mynd and, which, when considered as a group, contribute priceless knowledge regarding the density of settlement and nature of land use on this area of upland during the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age periods.


The monument includes a bivallate cross-dyke located at Devil's Mouth, the narrow neck of a roughly east to west orientated spur separating Townbrook valley to the south and Carding Mill valley to the north. The cross-dyke is visible as a well defined linear bank of earth and stone construction, orientated NNE to SSW. Positioned at the narrowest point of the ridge to separate Burway Hill to the east from the primary plateau of The Long Mynd to the west, the earthworks stretch for some 140 meters, the ends resting upon the precipitous slopes to the north and south. The monument includes two separate areas. Today the earthwork is cut roughly in half by the hill road from Church Stretton to the Long Mynd summit and by the car park on the south side of this road. Consequently the central 34 meters is no longer visible as a surface feature but will survive below the car park as a buried feature. The road however being terraced into the hillslope, will have destroyed the dyke where it crosses its line. The southern portion of the dyke survives for some 80 meters south of the car park and comprises a substantial bank up to 6 meters wide with flat bottomed ditches to either side; the western ditch averaging 5 meters wide and up to 0.6 meters deep and the eastern 3 meters wide and 0.4 meters deep. The portion to the north of the road is 65 meters long, averages 4 meters wide and stands 0.3 meters high on its east side, 0.9 meters on its west side where it is flanked by a ditch 3 meters wide and 0.2 meters deep. No trace of any original passage through the dyke can be recognised, though this may have been positioned in the central area now occupied by the modern roadway. The structure is clearly not designed as a defence, being overlooked from both sides, but rather worked as a boundary marker delineating and separating the land management of two areas of the hilltop during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 4 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected sources

  1. Map  Reference - Author: Ordnance Survey - Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 - Date: 1980 - Type: MAP


Source: English Heritage