There are references to a “Rough Ditch” possibly dating back to the reign of Henry II in the mid 12th Century. In the 1880s the first Ordnance Survey map refers to it as “(Intrenchment) Constructed by the Scotch Army (A.D.1645)”. Later suggestions include an association with Offa's Dyke.
The aim of the project is to raise the awareness, public appreciation & understanding of the feature to ensure there is no further degradation of the feature & contribute towards its place in the wider history of the city. A geophysical survey of the feature was undertaken in March 2014 by Headland Archaeology.
The project has already received substantial support from Historic England & Hereford City Council, but it will only be possible to progress to fruition if a grant of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund is made available. An application to HLF should be in place by the end of 2015.
Support has also been received from Herefordshire Council, The Woolhope Club, Mr J. Matthews @ Bartonsham Farm Dairies (tenant) & the Church of England Commissioners (land owners).
Following a competitive tendering exercise arranged by Historic England, Herefordshire Archaeology, a department of Herefordshire Council, has been appointed by the group as project manager under the supervision of Archaeological Projects Manager, Tim Hoverd.
Assuming the Heritage Lottery Funding application is successful, it it hoped to undertake physical investigation work, by means of trench digging & augering during the spring / summer of 2016. If anyone fancies getting their hands dirty, there will be opportunities for the local community to become involved in the investigation.
The Row Ditch Group is now working with the Bartonsham History Group and has its own website section. You can receive updates via this blog and/or by subscribing to the BHG e-Bulletin on the home page.