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Scots Dike

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Scots Dyke

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY334739
Latitude 55.05560° Longitude -3.04274°

Scots Dike has been described as a probable Linear Defence or Dyke.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Boundary bank defining the English-Scottish border between the Rivers Esk (NY388731) and Sark (NY334739), constructed in 1552. The course of the Scots' Dike is preserved for most of its length as a bank with ditches on either side, but its original form appears to have been much altered by later land use and the marginal shift of later field boundaries. Features visible south of the border have been scheduled. (PastScape)

NY 3346 7395 - NY 3880 7317. Earthwork remains of Scots Dike a 16th century linear earthwork visible as a series of banks and ditches and originally contructed to demarcate the border between England and Scotland having run for 5.6 kilometres across the Debateable Land - a lawless area of the borders for many centuries. This linear feature dates back to 1552 when Commissioners appointed by Mary Queen of Scots and Edward IV met to agree the division of land between Scotland and England. 2 parallel trenches were dug and the excavated material was used to create a mound 1.8 metres to 2.4 metres high. In some places a double mound was erected. Currently Scots Dike survives at best as a mound 1.3 metres high and 3.5 metres wide in places although no remains survive west of the road at Craws Knowe. At irregular intervals markers of red sandstone have been erected on the top of the mound. These are thought to be 19th century replacements for original boundary markers. (PastScape–ref. Scheduling Notification)

In 1552 the Scottish-English border was defined by an earthwork drawn between the Rivers Esk and Sark. The greater part of this earthwork, which comprises a bank and flanking ditches, can be seen in Scotsdike Plantation (NY 334 739 to 385 732) but the E and W ends cannot be traced. The terminal points were marked by square stones bearing the royal arms of England and Scotland. Scots' Dike is only traceable within the Scotsdike Plantation and extends from NY 3346 7396 to NY 3850 7325. It consists of a bank, with slight ditches on either side, which varies in width from 5.8m at the W end to 3.3m at the E end and stands to a maximum height of 0.8m. Stretches of the boundary have been destroyed and in places the ditches have silted up while elsewhere they have been re-cut. The two terminal stones were not located although spaced along the centre of the bank are small unmarked boundary stones. (Canmore)

Perriam & Robinson state not a defensible dyke but a demarkation line.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:52

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