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Viewing website implies consent to set cookies on your computer. Full details Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group
Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation Number 1155775
SWAAG Honorary President:
Tim Laurie FSA

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 *****SWAAG_ID***** 755
 Date Entered 15/09/2013
 Updated on 15/09/2013
 Recorded by Tim Laurie
 Category Earthworks
 Record Type Archaeology
 SWAAG Site Name 
 Site Type 
 Site Name 
 Site Description 
 Site Access Public Access Land
 Record Date 13/09/2013
 Location Tor Dike, Coverhead. Eastern section from the unfenced road above Kettlewell to the Black Dike.
 Civil Parish Carlton Highdale
 Brit. National Grid SD 98901 75591
 Altitude 500m
 Geology South facing escarpment formed by the outcrop of the Main Limestone.
 Record Name The Tor Dike. Eastern section from the unfenced road above Kettlewell to the junction with The Black Dike.
 Record Description This is Part Two* of a photographic record of several visits made to the as yet undated impressive linear earthwork known as the Tor Dike. Tor Dike bears visual comparison of scale and appearance with the linear earthwork on High Harker Hill recently excavated by SWAAG and now dated to (to follow)..... The Tor Dike comprises a rock cut ditch, berm and a very substantial earthen or rock rubble bank (the rampart) which has now been extensively quarried for material when building the dry stone wall which closely follows Tor Dike at the top edge of the natural limestone escarpment. Tor Dike can be characterised by stating that the earthwork takes maximum advantage of the natural barrier provided by the sheer scars of the limestone escarpment. However the sheer limestone scars are not continuous and in several places the cliff face is masked by glacial till and easy access is possible up a steep grass slope to the high moorland above. In other places the 'wall' of limestone cliff are breached at several places by spring streamlets. However, the linear earthwork is especially strong at these weak points, the ditch is very deep and the bank is heightened and especially substantial. Tor Dike once thought to have been constructed as a final Iron Age or Brigantian defence against Roman advance, is now considered to have formed the North Eastern Boundary of the kingdom of Craven. (Reference: Robert White, 1997. 'English Heritage Book of the Yorkshire Dales' Chapter 4).
 Dimensions Approximately 2km in length from Top Mere Gate on the Starbotton Road to the junction with the Black Dike.
 Geographical area 
 Scientific Name 
 Common / Notable Species 
 Tree and / or Stem Girth 
 Tree: Position / Form / Status 
 Tree Site ID 0
 Associated Site SWAAG ID 0
 Additional Notes * See also SWAAG Database Record Nos It is intended to provide a comprehensive photographic record of the 2km length of Tor Dike taken during several visits made at different years and times of year under different weather conditions.
 Image 1 ID 4696         Click image to enlarge
 Image 1 Description Moonrise over Whernside with Scots Dike.
 Image 2 ID 4686         Click image to enlarge
 Image 2 Description Guardian of the Dike.
 Image 3 ID 4688         Click image to enlarge
 Image 3 Description Tor Dike at SD98901 75591 with entrance causeway through the Dike.
 Image 4 ID 4687         Click image to enlarge
 Image 4 Description 
 Image 5 ID 4690         Click image to enlarge
 Image 5 Description View westward from above the eastern extremity of the Tor Dike and junction with The Black Dike
 Image 6 ID 4691         Click image to enlarge
 Image 6 Description The Black Dike, infilled and not clearly visible here, is assumed to follow the line of this modern dry stone wall to rise to the summit ridge of Great Whernside at around 699m Elevation.
 Image 7 ID 4692         Click image to enlarge
 Image 7 Description The Black Dike is visible where it rises to cross the skyline and run beyond to the summit ridge of Great Whernside. Black Dike formed Township, Parish, Deanery, Wapentake and until 1974, the County Boundary (R.F.White 1974).
 Image 8 ID 4699         Click image to enlarge
 Image 8 Description Terrace like features below the dike and the complex of small enclosures and huts which abut the tbank above the Dike are probable shieling type settlements, seasonal meetings and markets for the communities of Wharfedale and Coverdale at either side of the Boundary.
 Image 9 ID 4701         Click image to enlarge
 Image 9 Description The complex of small enclosures and huts which abut the bank above the Dike are probable shieling type settlements
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