Clennell Street Cross Dyke 1

Has been described as a Possible Linear Defence or Dyke

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameClennell Street Cross Dyke 1
Alternative NamesCopper Snout
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishAlwinton

The cross dyke at Copper Snout is well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits; it is one of a group of similar monuments in the Borders of England and Scotland and it will add greatly to our understanding of upland land division. Its association with two adjoining structures is of particular importance as the relationship between the cross dyke and these structures will enhance our knowledge of how the system of Border cross dykes operated.

The monument includes the remains of a cross dyke and two adjoining structures, situated astride the narrowest point of a high ridge between two streams. The cross dyke, which is oriented east to west, consists of an earthen bank 350m long and between 3m to 5m wide standing to a maximum height of 0.8m. A ditch which runs parallel with the bank on its northern side is 2m to 3m wide and 0.2m deep. To the west of the track the cross dyke curves noticeably to the north west; it does not extend down to the foot of the steep slopes at either end, stopping abruptly immediately above the steepest part of the slope. At the top of the ridge there is an off-set entrance through the cross dyke, occupied by a trackway thought to be a branch of the medieval road known as Clennell Street. The remains of two rectangular enclosures, interpreted as the foundations of two buildings, are situated against the south side of the cross dyke, either side of the opening. Both are oriented east to west and have doorways through their southern walls. The first and most westerly steading measures 12m by 4m while the second is 16m by 4.5m and is also subdivided into two rooms. The exact relationship between the two buildings and the cross dyke is uncertain but it is thought that they may have functioned as an integral part of the cross dyke system. (Scheduling Report)

Cross-Dyke, distinguished by having foundations (stone) of a rectangular house, on either side of the road-gap

(Annotated Record Map Corr 6" (Sir W Aitchison undated).

Remains of a cross-dyke are situated in a saddle on a north-south ridge of moorland pasture at its narrowest point. The dyke, a turf-covered earthern bank, 3.0 - 5.0m in width, with a maximum height of 0.2m, fades out on the west and east sides of the ridge above very steep slopes which fall to two moorland streams.

On its north side is a ditch 2.0 - 3.0m wide, with a max depth of 0.2m.

A trackway along the ridge top passes through a gap in the dyke, either side of which, against the south face of the bank, are foundation remains of two steadings. That on the west side measures 12.0m by 4.0m, that on the east side, 16.0m by 4.5m. Both have entrances in the south side, and both are orientated east and west. The foundations are of earth and stone, the banks being 2.0m-3.0m wide, with a maximum height of 0.5m. The eastern steading has an internal division towards the east end. The cross dyke is approx 140.0m in length. The ground rises to a hump immediately to the north, and to the south, rises gently beyond a local depression (F1 ASP 02-MAY-57).

The cross dyke extends to the W of the trackway for a distance of 110m to the top of a steep slope, while on the E side it continues almost to the Wholehope Burn, making a total length of 250m. The slight nature of both the bank and ditch makes them of little obstructive value, and the whole may be no more than a boundary feature. Probing of the two 'steadings' revealed no stone work suggesting them to be possible sheilings. A further five similar steadings,some with subdivisions, were identified along the ridge to the S of the dyke (F2 DS 25-MAY-70). (PastScape)

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 ReferenceNT888088
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Rushworth, Alan, Roberts, Ian and Carlton, Richard, 2005, Droving in the Northumberland National Park (Northumberland National Park Authority) p. 56


  • Charlton, D.B. and Day J.C., 1979, 'Excavation and field survey in Upper Redesdaleā€“Part II' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser5) Vol. 7 p. 211, 228
  • Dryden, J. CBA Group 3 Newsbulletin Vol. 14 p. 12-14


  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk North East Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 29 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 North East (London: English Heritage) p. 28 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 North East (London: English Heritage) p. 31 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 North East (London: English Heritage) p. 43 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 North East (London: English Heritage) p. 42 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 North East (London: English Heritage) p. 41 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 North East (London: English Heritage) p. 51 online copy