Os grid reference: SD.8635 2435. The Broadclough ancient dyke[s] earthworks or entrenchments can be found about 1 mile north-west of Bacup town-centre, just off the A671, above Dykes House Farm. The earthwork is thought to date from 937 AD and be associated with the famous Battle of Brunanburh which was fought on the moors to the north-east close to The Long Causeway between Burnley and Todmorden. The Dyke[s] run for between 500-600 yards roughly south to north and hug the contours of the hillside. The man-made bank (rampart) at the eastern side is roughly 6 feet high, whereas the western bank makes for a natural defensive rampart that is partly tree-covered, and is roughly 12-16 feet high. The dyke is 18-20 yards across. There is, however, a lower section of rampart in the middle that is 18 yards across - this lower section is nearly the same on the opposite higher bank and could have been a portal, ditch or something else, but what we just do not know ?
The dyke or entrenchment may have been built by a collection of various armies consisting of Danes, Northumbrians, Scots and Welsh, under Anlaf the chieftain as a defense for the northern routes over the moors against the Saxon army of King Athelstan moving up from the south, prior to the great battle itself. But why was it built here - and for what purpose ? The earthwork and its two defensive banks (ramparts) is fairly well preserved - the middle part of the dyke is the best preserved part, whereas the southern and northern ends have been slightly damaged by farming. Various other options have been put forward as to what these dykes are. The best ones being an unfinished hill-fort or burial mound - but both seem highly unlikely. The Bacup Natural History Society (N.A.T) did an archaeological dig here in 1974 and what is mentioned above is taken from their general findings at that time.
Bacup Natural History Society (NAT) - An article in the December 1989/January 1990 issue of Pennine Magazine.
Last edited by Sunbright57 on Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:27 pm; edited 9 times in total