TL5864 : Devil's Dyke

near to Swaffham Prior, Cambridgeshire, Great Britain

Devil's Dyke
Devil's Dyke
Two walkers head along the highest part of this Anglo-Saxon earthwork.
Devil's Dyke, Cambridgeshire
The Devil's Dyke is one of the best preserved Anglo-Saxon earthworks of its kind in the country dating from the 5th or 6th century AD. It consists of a 7.5 miles (12.1 km) long bank and ditch running in a south-east direction from the village of Reach to Woodditton. When it was created, it sealed a narrow land corridor between the southern edge the then undrained and water-logged fenland in the north-west, and dense woodlands in the south, so making circumvention difficult and forming an effective barrier. The dyke crossed three important Roman roads, including the ancient Icknield Way, and may thus have served as a way of controlling trade and movement in and out of the area.

It was probably built by the East Anglians against their Mercian neighbours. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and other sources record the frequently tense relations between the two kingdoms, and it is likely that this provoked the need to strengthen the border and control access.

It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM). It also contains chalk grassland of international importance and has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and part is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Stephen McKay and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
year taken
2012
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
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TL5864, 22 images   (more nearby)
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Geograph
Date Taken
Sunday, 2 September, 2012   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 8 September, 2012
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Flat landscapes 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TL 5840 6444 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:15.3198N 0:19.1540E
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TL 5830 6453
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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Dyke  Anglo-Saxon Earthwork 

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