Salkeld Dyke

Has been described as a Possible Linear Defence or Dyke, and also as a Possible Urban Defence

There are no visible remains

NameSalkeld Dyke
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishGreat Salkeld

Near Salkeld Dyke are vestiges of an ancient encampment, 400 yards long and four yards high; and adjoining to it is a circular basin of water, 50 yards in diameter and five feet deep, which appears to have been excavated for materials to form the encampment. (Mannix and Whellan 1847)

Site of a protective rampart.

Curwen thought it surrounded Great Salkeld.

Curwen quotes TCWAAS (2), xiii, 28, Hutchinson and Britton.

SMR record '... no earthworks remain...' Field work necessary. (Perriam and Robinson 1998)

Gatehouse Comments

Protective rampart thought to have surrounded the village of Great Salkeld. Area enclosed too large to be an urban defence, although has been called that. May have deterred small groups of cattle raiders or just have functioned as a boundary marker (Salkeld was a parcel of land ceeded to the Kings of Scotland). Does not seem to have been the more usual type of medieval boundary of a deer park pale. Presumably Salkeld Dykes and North and Souths Dykes place-names are related to this feature and give some suggestion as to its extent but nothing on the map on air photo gives a suggestion of the actual line which, again presumably, must have run west of Great Salkeld between the Scatter Beck (at roughly NY536377) and Lair Gill (at roughly NY541381), with these streams and the River Eden forming the rest of the circuit. Nothing like this shown on 1st edition OS map of 1867 although a, now lost and much reduced even by 1900, pond is shown just south of North Dykes at NY54383717.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY545365
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Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reservedView full Sized Image
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reservedView full Sized Image
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reservedView full Sized Image

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  • Creighton, O.H. and Higham, R.A., 2005, Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus) p. 269
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 218
  • Curwen, J.F., 1913, Castles and Fortified Towers of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North of the Sands (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 13) p. 197
  • Mannix and Whellan, 1847, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland (Beverley) p. 305 view online copy
  • Britton, J. and Brayley, E.W., 1803, The Beauties of England; Topographical, Historical and Descriptive Delineation of Cumberland (London) p. 148 online copy
  • Hutchinson, W., 1794, The History of the County of Cumberland (Carlisle) Vol. 1 p. 283 online copy


  • Graham, T.H.B., 1913, 'The Townfields of Cumberland. Part II' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 13 p. 28 online copy