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| The Devil's Mouth Cross Dyke |
[800 x 440 JPG]
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|Description ||The Devil's Mouth Cross Dyke is the shortest and most accessible cross dyke on the archaeologically rich Long Mynd. It is over 400 feet long, with a 100 feet section missing where the Burway Road cuts through the feature as the road moves away from the precipitous drop into Carding Mill Valley. The whole area is under the management of The National Trust.
It is important to point out that the road is very narrow, with many passing places. In peak season it can take some time to make a journey to or from The Long Mynd, and the location of the road is not for the faint hearted (though the views are astounding).
The dyke runs north – south across the hill it bisects, and its likely function was to manage east-west access on the ancient route across The Long Mynd. It certainly can not be defensive as the ground either side of the earthwork is considerably higher.
The bank is a construction of earth and stone some 18 feet wide, and up to 4 feet high on the southern part; the northern end across the modern road is less well defined, and had a width of some 12 feet
Radio carbon dated to 1500-1300BC, it remains to most today completely ignored. Where the road intersects the feature, all that can be seen is a slightly raised green mound on the south side of an area once used as a car park.
The nearest parking is just a bit further to the west on higher ground, and the dyke is reached by a footpath descending from there. The car park also serves as a request stop for the Shropshire Hills Shuttles.
At first the dyke may not be that obvious, as it tightly hugs the curve of the hill until it meets the steeply contoured north side of Townbrook Valley. After closely studying the map in relation to nearby features and contour lines, I convinced myself that this must be the location of the cross dyke. Further consultation with my guidebook gave the required certainty of its location.
This shows the north section, difficult to make out, but is the broad, green are behind the sheep, defined by parallel linear marks.|
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