Keys to the Past


Cross dyke; Cross ridge dyke; Cross-dyke

This is a catchall term for a mound (dyke) cutting off the end of a hill. These dykes, sometimes bounded by a stone kerb, are of uncertain function and date. They may be associated with a ditch. Cross-ridge dykes may have gaps in, and span the ground in various ways, may represent territories of ritual and influence; Yorkshire (presumed Bronze Age) examples have possible associations with barrows and cairnfields. Northumbrian examples are associated with hillforts and prehistoric settlements of the (presumed or confirmed) Iron Age. The maintenance of such a monument has been used as a proxy for the continuance of the settlements - possibly at Wether Hill, Northumberland), from the 4th to 7th centuries AD. Many of these dykes are un-dated - but are generally assumed to have been constructed in the later prehistoric periods.

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