Monument record MCC7281 - Lexden Dyke


The dyke running between Braiswick and Bluebottle Grove.


Grid reference Centred TL 977 254 (100m by 2500m) (Centred on)
Map sheet TL92NE


Type and Period (5)

Full Description

The dyke running between Braiswick and Bluebottle Grove. North of the River Colne the same dyke is called Moat Farm Dyke (site 11627). This is the middle of the three dykes (Sheepen, Lexden and Shrub End) constructed at the accession of Cunobelin in AD 10. Houses have been built over the northern part of this dyke but the line is marked by a Scots pines. From Bakers Lane it runs south through ploughed fields on both sides of the railway line to the River Colne just north of the bypass. It continues south of the river and bypass from Lexden Straight Road through the gardens of Lexden PArk. The last scheduled section runs along Bluebottle Grove and this stretch is in Guardianship; it shows a well defined ditch and bank. This is the greater part of the dyke numbered `2b' on the plan in Colchester Museums `Roman Colchester'. <1> <2> This dyke skirts the Lexden Iron Age cemetery and can be seen in Bluebottle Grove where its line perhaps continuing south and eastwards reaching the Colne via the cemetery or Barn Hall Dyke (no longer visible) continues north as Moat Farm Dyke. <3> <4> Lexden Dyke is an upstanding Scheduled Monument between TL 977243 and TL 973252. The length from here north to TL 974255 is not extant but is proposed from cropmarks and conjecture. <5> Lexden dyke lies c.1km west of Sheepen Hill as a linear earthwork extending over 2.5kms. It had massive V-shaped ditches and a correspondingly strong rampart. There is a suggestion that it would have had a timber palisade along the crest of the rampart and there is evidence for wooden gateways through it. <6> Other ref. <7> <8> <9>

Site Assessment = The dyke is tree covered. The section through Lexden Park appears rather overgrown with trees. The GAM section has mature trees and rather a lot of undergrowth; the notice is out of date. A footpath runs along the top of the bank but this would appear to be outside the scheduled area. The GAM section could be better looked after; the scheduling of the GAM area should also be checked. It is not clear who owns the dyke. <1> The dyke no longer exists north of the Lexden Road; the stretch through Lexden Park is the finest piece of the dyke still surviving. <7>

Lexden Dyke photo of unknown location<10>

Sources/Archives (13)

  • --- DESC TEXT: Colchester Museum. 1997. The Colchester Iron Age Dyke System - An Integrated Management Plan.
  • --- DESC TEXT: Colchester Museum. 1997. The Colchester Iron Age Dyke System - A Programme of Works.
  • --- DESC TEXT: Colchester Museum. 1997. The Colchester Iron Age Dyke System - Task Plans.
  • <1> DESC TEXT: AMRF. unknown. Ancient Monuments Record Form, Essex 10b. copy in SMR.
  • <2> Map: unknown. unknown. Essex 10b. copy in SMR.
  • <3> DESC TEXT: unknown. unknown. The Dykes.
  • <4> Map: unknown. unknown. The dykes.
  • <5> DESC TEXT: unknown. 1960 0nwards. SMR form unknown.
  • <6> DESC TEXT: unknown. 1981. The land adjoining Endsleigh Annexe, Colchester Institute, Arch Comment.
  • <7> DESC TEXT: Brooks, H. 1972. The linear Earthworks around Colchester. A4 file.
  • <8> DESC TEXT: Hawkes, CFC and Hull, MR. 1947. Camulodunum. p12, copy in SMR.
  • <9> DESC TEXT: Laver, H. 1900. Lexden Park Ramparts. offprint in file OA4.
  • <10> Photograph: unknown. unknown. Lexden Dyke. colour print.

Finds (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (19)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

Nov 3 2015 11:41AM

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