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Car Dyke in Lincolnshire



Reference Name MLI60706

Name:
Car Dyke in Lincolnshire

Summary:
Car Dyke in Lincolnshire. This is a general record for the FULL length of the Car Dyke in Lincolnshire. There may also be records for the Car Dyke in each parish it passes through, and individual records for the scheduled sections.

Location:
BASTON, SOUTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
GREAT HALE, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
HECKINGTON, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
HORBLING, SOUTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
RIPPINGALE, SOUTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
WASHINGBOROUGH, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
ASGARBY AND HOWELL, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
BILLINGBOROUGH, SOUTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
BILLINGHAY, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
BLANKNEY, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
BOURNE, SOUTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
DOWSBY, SOUTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
DUNSTON, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
HACONBY, SOUTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
LANGTOFT, SOUTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
MARKET DEEPING, SOUTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
NORTH KYME, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
POINTON AND SEMPRINGHAM, SOUTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
SOUTH KYME, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
SWATON, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
DUNSBY, SOUTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
HEIGHINGTON, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
HELPRINGHAM, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
LITTLE HALE, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
MARTIN, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
METHERINGHAM, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
NOCTON, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
THURLBY, SOUTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
BRANSTON AND MERE, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
EWERBY AND EVEDON, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
MORTON, SOUTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
POTTERHANWORTH, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
TIMBERLAND, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
WALCOTT NEAR BILLINGHAY, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE

Description:
The Car Dyke is an artificial water channel that runs along the western fen edge from Peterborough to Lincoln. It is thought to have been constructed by the Romans, possibly around 125 AD. Excavations on parts of it have shown that the water channel, before it became silted, was approximately 15m wide at the top and between 2m and 4m deep, with sloping sides and a flat bottom. There is some evidence to suggest that its primary purpose was to serve as a drain to control and divert flood waters, rather than as a navigable waterway along its entire length, although shorter sections of it could have been used for water transport. The Car Dyke is the largest of the known Romano-British canals, and it is an important feature of the Roman landscape in the fens. Most of its length has, however, been incorporated into modern drainage systems, and very little of it survives well. Scheduled parts of the Car Dyke are at Timberland; Nocton; Bourne; Washingborough; Helpringham; Blankney; Thurlby; Martin; Dyke. {1}{2}{3}{4}{5}{6}

The Car Dyke is visible in aerial photographs along parts of its route. {7}{8}{9}{10}{11}{12}

The course of the Car Dyke is shown on the 1st edition 1 inch Ordnance Survey map of 1824. {13}

To the west of the scheduled section of the Car Dyke (PRN 60714), the south bank of the Car Dyke can be seen to the north of the main road in Washingborough, running east to west between allotments and a garden. The north bank was apparently demolished about two hundred years ago to bank up the Witham. Two holes were augered in an attempt to determine the depth of the banks of the Car Dyke. The first was taken on the southern bank. At seven hundred millimetres, under subsoil, pieces of limestone and gravel were encountered, which is thought to be the bank of the Car Dyke. The other was taken to the north of this, and at a depth of four hundred millimetres limestone and gravel was again encountered, and this was assumed to be the other bank of the Car Dyke. {14}

The line of the Car Dyke passes through Baston parish (formerly PRN 33403), running north of Thetford House. D. F. Petch noticed entrenchments or upcast by the side of the dyke. There are similar markings on the Ordnance Survey map at TF 116 143. However, some of the D. F. Petch entrenchments may be associated with the medieval settlement remains to the north west of Thetford House. {15}

The Car Dyke enters Langtoft parish (formerly PRN 33424) from the south at TF 1347 1166, running north to north west as a ditch, with a definite ploughed bank to the east; then makes two abrupt changes of direction at TF 134 118, where the distinct ploughed hollow between definite ploughed banks bends north to north east; then at TF 134 122, where it resumes a north west direction. To the Langtoft Outgang road a wide shallow ditch, between wide ploughed banks, marks the line, lost by Langtoft Hall and not clear through Baston parish (see PRN 33403).
The Car Dyke must have run north to north west from the Welland on approximately the line of Godsey's Lane, but there is no clear trace south of Towngate Outgang, beyond which a ditch, with a definite ploughed bank to the east, continues into Langtoft parish (formerly PRN 34753). This is also the line of the Car Dyke shown on the 1st edition 1 inch Ordnance Survey map. {16}

At Langtoft Hall, geophysical survey of the area immediately west of the moat (PRN 33423) in 1991 located a sand bank running parallel to the garden wall along the full length of the surveyed area. Whilst this could be a natural feature it is probably a part of the Roman Car Dyke bank which runs along the fen edge. The northern arm of the moat clearly cuts through this bank at the north end of the survey area. A second moat to the north of Langtoft Hall (PRN 33425) appears to have been deliberately built over the Car Dyke and the Hall moat also probably took advantage of the dyke to fill its ditch. {17}

Excavations south of Baston in 1990, at TF 1207 1384, identified three profiles of the Car Dyke. Its depth at this point was 3.80 metres, and it was fifteen metres wide at the buried ground level, and the bed was 5.50 metres wide. A sherd of early medieval pottery was recovered from the higher fills of the ditch which suggests that the Car Dyke was still useable and relatively clear at least into early Anglo Saxon times. A smaller ditch was also excavated which appears to be cut by the Car Dyke. It seems to have been contemporary with the Car Dyke, and may have been a drainage ditch into the Car Dyke. {18}

The Car Dyke runs through Heckington. Around the junction with Littleworth Drove there is an apparent rise of about 2.5 metres, which is a considerable incline in a watercourse used for navigation. This then suggests that the Car Dyke in this area was probably used as a catchwater drain (formerly PRN 60531). {19}{20}{21}{22}

The remains of the eastern bank of the Car Dyke were revealed during a watching brief on land north west of Wellington Way. The stratigraphic evidence suggests that the Car Dyke fell into disuse in the post Roman or medieval period. Medieval or post-medieval ploughing on the site caused the gravel bank to be truncated and largely levelled. {23}{24}

Four boreholes were placed across the Car Dyke at Dunston Fen, Dunston, to determine the depth of the dyke. The dyke is approximately 14.5 metres wide and 3.1 metres deep at Dunston Fen. {25}

During a watching brief at TF 1165 6184, a linear feature, which represents the southern edge to the Car Dyke, was recorded. {26}{27}

A trial trench was excavated on the site of Horton's Garage, Fen Road, Washingborough prior to development. This uncovered the Car Dyke complete with tow path. Finds from the Car Dyke included a Roman shoe and roof tile. There were postholes beside the Car Dyke, possibly an associated structure. {28}{29}

Deposits of clay, sand and gravel, thought to have formed part of the west bank of Car Dyke, were recorded in March 2002, during archaeological monitoring at The Old Vicarage, Church Street, Thurlby (TF10471679). The deposits were identified to the south and east of the vicarage and could be seen to slope down to the west, marking the approximate western edge of the bank. Although no dating evidence was recovered, the bank was very likely constructed at the same time the dyke was dug, utilising the upcast material from its digging. {30}{31}

Part of the southern edge of the Car Dyke was exposed in June 2014, during the archaeological monitoring of the construction of an extension to Cottage Farm, Fen Road, Washingborough (TF 0368 7052). The remains of the Dyke were revealed as a roughly east to west aligned linear feature, containing a number of fill deposits, although no dateable material was identified. The later fills were thought to possibly indicate purposeful backfilling in this area, probably in relatively recent times. {32}{33}

Sources:
1 Article in Serial: SIMMONS, B.B.. 1979. 'The Lincolnshire Car Dyke: navigation or drainage?' in Britannia. vol.10, pp.183-96
2 Bibliographic Reference: WHITWELL, J.B.. 1992. Roman Lincolnshire. -
3 Unpublished Document: SIMMONS, B.B.. THE LINCOLNSHIRE CAR DYKE. Car Dyke Research Group: 1
4 Scheduling Record: ENGLISH HERITAGE. 1995. SCHEDULING DOCUMENT 20813. MPP 22
5 Unpublished Document: Archaeological Project Services. The Lincolnshire Car Dyke. -
6 Index: North Kesteven Records. Dunston. NK26.18
7 Map: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1992-1996. National Mapping Programme. LINCOLNSHIRE. TF0370: LI.536.1.1
8 Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF Aerial Photograph. 5434
9 Aerial Photograph: 1945-84. CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY COLLECTION. ABP 60, 62; ACL 67; BBF 29; LH 15-6, 18-9; EA 051-2
10 Aerial Photograph: FOARD, G.. 1984-90. NORTHANTS CC. NHC6015/2
11 Aerial Photograph: 1946-98. RCHME. TF1336/4, 1513-7
12 Map: Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. 1992-1996. National Mapping Programme. LINCOLNSHIRE. TF 06 NE: LI.896.12.1-6
13 Map: Ordnance Survey. 1824. Ordnance Survey first edition one inch to the mile map (Lincolnshire). -
14 Index: NORTH KESTEVEN RECORDS. WASHINGBOROUGH. NK 71.17, 1997
15 Index: SMR. Sites and Monuments Record Card Index. TF 11 SW: AD; RWH; 11/6/76
16 Article in Monograph: HALLAM, S.J.. 1970. ‘Settlement around the Wash’ in The Fenland in Roman Times. p.252
17 Report: Lindsey Archaeological Services. 1991. Langtoft Hall Farm: Archaeological Evaluation. -
18 Report: Trust for Lincolnshire Archaeology. 1991. Excavations at Manor Pit, Baston. -
19 Article in Serial: F.N. Field and I. George. 1995. Archaeology in Lincolnshire. vol.30, p.42
20 Article in Serial: F.N. Field and I. George. 1994. Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. vol.29, pp.47-8
21 Report: PRE-CONSTRUCT ARCHAEOLOGY. 1994. WATER PIPELINE, HECKINGTON FEN. -
22 Archive: Pre-Construct Archaeology. 1995. Water pipeline, Heckington Fen. LCNCC 9.94
23 Report: Professional Independent Services for Archaeology. 1997. Archaeological Watching Brief on Land North-West of Wellington Way, Market Deeping. NMD97
24 Archive: Professional Independent Services for Archaeology. 1997. Archaeological Watching Brief on Land North-West of Wellington Way, Market Deeping. LCNCC 111.97
25 Report: Archaeological Project Services. Feb 2001. Boreholes across the Car Dyke at Dunston Fen, Dunston. NCD01
26 Report: Archaeological Project Services. 2001. Darinage works at Oak Tree Farm, Blankney.. BOT01
27 Archive: Archaeological Project Services. 2001. Drainage Works at Oak Tree Farm, Blankney.. LCNCC:2001.269
28 Report: Lindsey Archaeological Services. Jan 2005. Evaluation at Horton's Garage, Fen Road, Washingborough. HGW04
29 Archive: Lindsey Archaeological Services. Jan 2005. Evaluation at Horton's Garage, Fen Road, Washingborough. LCNCC 2004.245
30 Report: Archaeological Project Services. 2002. The Old Vicarage, Church Street, Thurlby. APS site code: TCS 02
31 Archive: Archaeological Project Services. 2002. The Old Vicarage, Church Street, Thurlby. LCNCC 2002.126
32 Report: Pre-Construct Archaeological Services Ltd. 2014. Extension to Cottage Farm, Fen Road, Washingborough. PCAS site code: WFRM 14
33 Archive: Pre-Construct Archaeological Services Ltd. 2014. Extension to Cottage Farm, Fen Road, Washingborough. LCNCC 2014.111

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Last updated: 12-December-2018 13:49:28

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