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 

Borrowdale Dyke

In the civil parish of Borrowdale.
In the historic county of Westmorland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Westmorland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY548030
Latitude 54.42111° Longitude -2.69721°

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

There are no visible remains.


This barrier is described as a plessicium, or slashed hedge, which served as a stockade against the Scots, and is so named in the following grant, dated about 1180, when its origin and use must have been well known. "Grant by William de Lancaster II to the monks of St. Mary at Byland, of his part of Borgheredala (Borrowdale) by the great way which goes by Ernestan (Eagle-stone) to the plessicium which has been made on account of the Scots; and by the brow of the hill of Bannisdale, which is towards Borrowdale, as long as Bannisdale continues, and so to Borrowdale Head and so to the bounds of Westmorland, in perpetual alms, and for the settlement of the complaint which Wimund, late Bishop of the Isles, had against the father of the grantor." (Hist. MSS. Com., 10th Report, iv, 323.).
The precise position of this dyke has not been ascertained as yet, but from "Hollow Gate," half way between Kendal and Shap, there is a track some four miles across the moor eastward known as "Breasthigh," which clearly has had a rampart on its northern bank noticable near the ruins of Knott House and just beyond and which comes out near Tebay where there is a farm called "The Dyke." On the other hand it will be observed that the land to the northward rises considerably so that the rampart could be of little strategic strength against the Scots, and these place names may refer only to an ancient park of 100 acres which William L'Engleys received licence to impark in Tebay and Roundthwaite by grant of 12 Edward III. (Curwen 1932)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
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 09:21:29

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