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Historic England Research Records

Ferrybridge Henge

Hob Uid: 54454
Location :
Wakefield
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : SE4746024240
Summary : A henge at Ferrybridge surviving as low earthworks but under threat from ploughing. The site comprises a circular enclosure comprising a bank with inner and outer ditches. Excavation in 1991 by West Yorkshire Archaeological Services (which discovered the outer ditch) showed that the inner ditch on the eastern side was circa 10 metres wide and 2.5 metres deep. A berm 15 metres wide separated it from the remains of a limestone bank, also 15 metres wide. Outside the bank was another 15 metre berm, surrounded by a shallow outer ditch 12 metres wide and 1.5 metres deep. The maximum external diameter of the bank is circa 212 metres. Aerial photographs indicate the presence of a ring ditch between the inner ditch and bank on the south-south-east side. Two opposed entrances are evident in the henge circuit, on the north east and south west sides. Among the finds recovered during the excavations was an Iron Age sword scabbard of iron and bronze, which had been deposited within the inner henge ditch. The site is scheduled.
More information : [SE 474242] Circular soil mark, average diameter 180m with a possible entrance to the SW. Possible a henge, comparable in size and situation with the Thornborough circles 36 miles to the NW [SE 27 NE 4]. (1)

Surveyed at 1/2500. This feature lies mainly in two ploughed fields and is visible as a circular bank of very slight profile, now considerably spread by cultivation and partly destroyed by the cutting of a new road. Two slight depressions in the bank to NE and SW probably indicate original opposed entrances, both of which are now bisected by a modern track. APs show markings of an outer ditch in the NW quadrant which is visible on the ground as a superficial depression, but is not surveyable. The interior of the enclosure has a slightly domed appearance, which is probably caused by the ploughing out of an internal ditch. The earthwork has all the characteristics of Atkinson's Class IIa 'Henge', thus favouring its comparison with the Thornborough Circles. (2)

In May 1992 the RCHME: Ferrybridge Henge Project recorded the cropmark of a circular henge ditch, 10m in width, at SE 4746 2424. The ditch has opposed entrances to the ENE and WSW; both east and west terminals of the southern arc are clearly defined, but those of the northern arc are slighted by a farm track. The maximum width of the causeway entrances is estimated as 20m for the ENE and 30m for the WSW. Concentric with the ditch and outside it, a bank approximately 15m wide, also has opposed entrances. Both entrance terminals are recorded on the WSW, and on the ENE that of the southern arc only (the NE quadrant of the bank is now destroyed). Between the inner ditch and the henge bank is a berm approximately 25m wide. Outside the bank is an ill-defined ditch, maximum width 26m, which is recorded on all sides except in the destroyed NE quadrant; this would confirm the previous classification by Authority 2 of a Class IIa Henge. A previous air photo transcription omits the outer ditch (3a). The internal diameter of the henge measures 100-102m; the external diameter of the henge measures 240-260m. The cropmark of a ring ditch (SE 42 SE 61) occupies the full width of the berm at SE 4748 2418, in the SSE sector of the henge. The relationship between the ring ditch and the henge is not clear. A full report and a plan can be found in the NMR archive (Coll UID 922907). West Yorkshire Archaeology Service is undertaking a phased programme of survey and excavation to study and record the threatened landscape setting of the henge monument (3b). Excavation in 1991 of a section across the henge earthwork also confirmed the presence of an outer ditch and revealed details of the bank's construction. (3)

SE 474 246. Earthwork W of Ferrybridge. Scheduled No WY/720. (4)

Cropmark/soilmark remains of the henge at Ferrybridge were recorded as partof a 1:2500 scale aerial photographic survey carried out by the RCHME between 6th and 9th June 1997 as part of the RCHME: Industry and Enclosure in the Neolithic project. The plan of the henge and surrounding features, digital files and report are held by the RCHME (Collection UID: 1082880). (5)

The henge at Ferrybridge is visible as cropmarks and slight earthworks on air photographs. It has been recorded as part of a 1:10000 scale aerial photographic survey carried out by the Lower Wharfedale NMP project. The henge is as described by previous authorities. The ring ditch of the barrow that is located within the henge (described by authority 3 and also in SE 42 SE 61) has also been plotted as part of this survey. For the sake of clarity all the features associated with the henge shall be described in records SE 42 SE 132 and SE 42 SE 133.
(8-9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : 541/31/4156-7, May 1948
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Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ECW 02-APR-65
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Source Number : 9
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SE4724/119 (17591/17) 16-Jul-2001
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Source : Ferrybridge
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Source : Ferrybridge/pencil AP transcription
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Source : Ferrybridge/publication drawing
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Source : Ferrybridge/report
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Source : Ferrybridge/ink AP transcription
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Source : Ferrybridge/ink AP transcription
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Source : Ferrybridge/topographical detail
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Source Number : 3
Source : RCHME/EH/HE Aerial Photographers comment
Source details : Ann Carter/MAY-1992/RCHME: Ferrybridge Henge Project
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Source Number : 3a
Source : Henge monuments and related sites of Great Britain : air photographic evidence and catalogue
Source details : Site 218
Page(s) : 318-9
Figs. : 218
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Vol(s) : 175
Source Number : 3b
Source : [West Yorkshire Archaeology Service] review 1991-1992
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Page(s) : 53-4
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Source Number : 4
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : English Heritage SAM List W Yorks March 1994 9
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Source Number : 5
Source : RCHME/EH/HE Aerial Photographers comment
Source details : Fiona Small/09-Jun-1997/RCHME: Ferrybridge Enclosure Project
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Source Number : 6
Source : Archaeology in West Yorkshire
Source details : "Strange happenings at Ferrybridge".
Page(s) : 02-Mar
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Vol(s) : 4, 1996
Source Number : 7
Source : CBA Forum : the annual newsletter of CBA Group 4
Source details : Wright, J. Ferrybridge prehistoric and Roman landscape.
Page(s) : 44-5
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Vol(s) : 1992
Source Number : 8
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 541/31 4156 18-May-1948
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Late Neolithic
Display Date : Late Neolithic
Monument End Date : -2200
Monument Start Date : -2900
Monument Type : Henge
Evidence : Earthwork, Cropmark
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Findspot
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Period : Iron Age
Component Monument Type : Findspot
Object Type : SCABBARD
Object Material : Bronze, Iron

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WY 720
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (West Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 1303
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (West Yorkshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 1304
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 42 SE 31
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 922956
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 923057
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 923191
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 923293
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 923300
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1083844
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1083874
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 54385
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 923454
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1404145
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1404191
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 42 SE 31
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1965-04-02
End Date : 1965-04-02
Associated Activities : Primary, CEMETERY SITE, FERRYBRIDGE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1989-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SCHOOL SITE, FERRYBRIDGE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1989-01-01
End Date : 1990-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FERRYBRIDGE HENGE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1991-01-01
End Date : 1991-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FERRYBRIDGE HENGE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1991-01-01
End Date : 1991-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: FERRYBRIDGE HENGE PROJECT
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 1992-05-01
End Date : 1992-05-01
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: FERRYBRIDGE ENCLOSURE PROJECT
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 1997-06-06
End Date : 1997-06-09
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: LOWER WHARFEDALE NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2002-03-04
End Date : 2004-11-09