The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Barons Dyke

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Bishops Dyke; Bar Dyke; White Moss

In the civil parish of Irthington.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Cumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY473587
Latitude 54.92054° Longitude -2.82304°

Barons Dyke has been described as a probable Linear Defence or Dyke.

There are earthwork remains.


The Bishop's or Baron's Dyke is a Medieval boundary, separating the baronry of Gilsland from the Bishop's Manor of Crosby. It was called the Bishop's Dyke in (a perambulation) of 1603; locally it is known as the Bar Dyke. The dike appears to run from the Roman Road (presumably that along the Wall) near Highfield Moor House (NY459613) to Newby (NY475583), a distance of about 2 miles. The dike consisted of two parallel banks, 30 ft apart overall, which appear to have been formed by earth thrown out of two central ditches, with a strip of original surface between them. There are indications that earth may also have been thrown up from the outside. Hodgson suggests that the dike was modelled on the Vallum, but on a smaller scale, and without the one central ditch. Near the wall the Dyke is not very noticeable, and for most of its course it has been destroyed, but about 1 - 1/2 miles south of the wall, not far from Newby, for some three or four hundred yards, it is in a fairly good state of preservation. (PastScape)

Ferguson dismisses this as a park pale - being far more than necessary for such a purpose. Hodgson points out the similarity between this work and the nearby Roman vallum near Hadrian's Wall, whilst clearly dating it as medieval. Hodgson was of the opinion this was a boundary marker (with Imperial pretensions) rather than a military work. Gatehouse agrees with Hodgson, with the suggestion that this was also a deer park pale.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:31

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact