Tor Dyke

Historical Environment Record No:
Carlton Highdale and Kettlewell with Starbotton
OS Grid Reference:


Tor Dyke MYD4145 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Tor Dyke MYD4145 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Tor Dyke is a linear earthwork about 2000 metres long situated across a valley head guarding access from Upper Wharfedale into Coverdale. It consists mainly of an artificial ditch cut into the base of a vertical limestone scar. Part way along, the scar finishes, and from here the line is strengthened and continued by a substantial artificial rampart averaging 1.8 metres in height. Gaps in both rampart and ditch at this point may be the site of an original entrance.

The dyke is now believed to be the north eastern boundary of the Dark Age kingdom of Craven and once formed a line between Anglian invaders and native territories.

Tor Dyke from the air MYD4145

Tor Dyke from the air MYD4145 (c) YDNPA, 2023


White, Robert (2002) The Yorkshire Dales. A Landscape Through Time. Ilkley: Great Northern Books


From Kettlewell take the narrow Coverdale road signposted to Leyburn. After about 2 1/4 miles, at Hunters Sleet, take the public bridleway on the left signed to Starbotton and Kettlewell. After about half a mile this reaches the dyke.

Public Transport Details

Nearest town/village: Kettlewell. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.


Steep road to bridleway start. Bridleway is rough and very boggy in places.