Green Dike

Has been described as a Questionable Linear Defence or Dyke

There are earthwork remains

NameGreen Dike
Alternative Names
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishFylingdales

Greendike, a dike or trench similar to many other ancient trenches that cross the moors (Whellan).

The Greendike runs N to Peak for about one mile (VCH).

It originally consisted of a ditch with flanking banks, but wall building has largely destroyed the E bank, while that to the W has been spread by a footpath. Near the N end, where best preserved, the ditch is up to 1.5m deep and the banks average 0.6m in height (Field Investigators Comments–F1 DS 15-DEC-72)

The dike extends from the 1:2500 area to NZ 96920022. Throughout this length the ditch is banked on the east. No trace of a bank can be seen on the west. There are two modern breaks in the ditch but they are too small to survey. The ditch attains a maximum depth of 1.4m and the bank on the east is 0.5m high. On the OS 6" 1958 a possible extension to the south can be seen, but this area is now afforested and the ditch is not recognisable (Field Investigators Comments–F2 JB 23-JAN-74).

The three undated linear earthworks near the coast, namely Green Dyke, War Dyke and Stone Dale Dyke (Cloughton) appear to be isolated earthworks and not parts of a larger territorial scheme. Greendike is mentioned as forming part of the boundary of Pickering Forest in a 17th century perambulation) (Spratt)

Green Dike is believed to one of the medieval boundary dykes forming the eastern boundary to the estate of Whitby Strand and was in use into the post-medieval period. There are also two post medieval boundary stones at its northern and southern ends (Scheduling report).

The medieval/post medieval dyke was also mapped as part of the North York Moors National Park NMP, visible as earthworks on air photographs and centred at NZ 9706 0086. As described above, the dyke is defined by an intermittently visible ditch that is flanked on each side by a bank and extends for some 1.25 km

The HER suggests that the dyke continues to the south-east; however, the location of numerous braided trackways obstructs further depiction. Likewise, the northern terminus is unclear on air photographs. Photography from 1972 shows the walls on the east side and path on the west described above. The dyke may have earlier origins akin to others in the area that date to the later prehistoric period. The mapped elements are largely extant on the latest 2009 vertical photography; the southern most extent is obscured by tree cover. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Dyke known as Green Dike, approximately 1500m long, believed to be one of the boundary dykes to east of medieval estate of Whitby Strand. There are also two post-medieval boundary markers. Although this was used as a medieval boundary this does not necessarily mean it was constructed in the medieval period and a Prehistoric construction date seems more likely, although repair and maintenance, as a park pale in the medieval period can not be excluded.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ969002
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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

() above

Latitude 54° 23' 48.47" Longitude 0° 30' 22.99"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

() above

Latitude 54° 23' 48.47" Longitude 0° 30' 22.99"

View full Sized Image

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  • Spratt, D.A., (ed), 1982, Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology of North-East Yorkshire (British Archaeological Reports: British series 104) p. 175, 290
  • Armitage and Montgomerie, 1912, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Yorkshire Vol. 2 p. 57
  • Whellan, T., 1857, History and topography of the city of York and the North Riding of Yorkshire Vol. 2 p. 832 online copy


  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 Yorkshire (London: English Heritage) p. 51 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 Yorkshire (London: English Heritage) p. 53 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 64 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 66 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 62 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 Yorkshire and the Humber (London: English Heritage) p. 79 online copy