Cross dyke 730m south east of Ditchling Cross

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008158

Date first listed: 07-Jul-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke 730m south east of Ditchling Cross
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: East Sussex

District: Lewes (District Authority)

Parish: East Chiltington

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 36736 12587

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Cross dykes are substantial linear earthworks typically between 0.2km and 1km long and comprising one or more ditches arranged beside and parallel to one or more banks. They generally occur in upland situations, running across ridges and spurs. They are recognised as earthworks or as cropmarks on aerial photographs, or as combinations of both. The evidence of excavation and analogy with associated monuments demonstrates that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used later. Current information favours the view that they were used as territorial boundary markers, probably demarcating land allotment within communities, although they may also have been used as trackways, cattle droveways or defensive earthworks. Cross dykes are one of the few monument types which illustrate how land was divided up in the prehistoric period. They are of considerable importance for any analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age. Very few have survived to the present day and hence all well- preserved examples are considered to be of national importance.

The cross dyke 730m south east of Ditchling Cross survives well and contains archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The cross dyke lies to the west of a further cross dyke and is situated within a linear round barrow cemetery. These monuments are broadly contemporary and their close association will therefore provide evidence for the relationship between land division and burial practice during the period of their construction and use.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a cross dyke running across the crest of a ridge of the Sussex Downs. The cross dyke has two sections, the most southerly consisting of a north- south orientated ditch 28m long, 3.6m wide and 0.5m deep flanked on each side by banks 3.75m wide, surviving to a height of 0.15m above the surface of the surrounding ground. At its northern end, the ditch ends in a well-defined, rounded terminal, whilst to the south, aerial photographs show that it continues beyond the surviving earthworks as a buried feature, although these levelled remains are not included in the scheduling at present. Ten metres to the north, the northern section of the dyke, orientated NNW-SSE, consists of an 18m length of ditch 3.8m wide and 0.5m deep. The southern end has no obvious terminal and the northern end fades out at the point where the ground falls away to form the northern slope of the ridge.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 24383

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
colour county coverage 1:10,000, East Sussex County Council, (1987)
Title: TQ 3611 Source Date: 1978 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: 1:2500

End of official listing