Cross dyke on northern spur of Bow Hill, 500m north east of the Tansley Stone
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Sep-2021 at 14:57:32.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- West Sussex
- Chichester (District Authority)
- National Park:
- SOUTH DOWNS
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 82536 11531
Reasons for Designation
Beneficial land use over the years has enabled Bow Hill and Kingley Vale to support one of the most diverse and well-preserved areas of chalk downland archaeological remains in south eastern England. These remains are considered to be of particular significance because they include types of monument, dating from the prehistoric and Roman periods, more often found in Wessex and south western Britain. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between trackways, settlement sites, land boundaries, stock enclosures, flint mines, ceremonial and funerary monuments in the area gives significant insight into successive changes in the pattern of land use over time. 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 reused 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. Despite some tree-root damage caused by current woodland cover, the cross dyke on the northern spur of Bow Hill survives comparatively well and contains archaeological deposits and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The cross dyke is part of a complex of linear earthworks partly enclosing the hill top and the Devil's Humps linear round barrow cemetery, and is situated c.60m south of a hilltop enclosure and a linear boundary. These monuments are broadly contemporary and their close association will therefore provide evidence for the relationship between land division, stock management and social organisation during the period of their construction and use.
The monument includes a cross dyke running across the crest of a ridge of the
The cross dyke is an east-west orientated ditch c.94m long, 7m wide and 0.5m
deep, flanked on each side by a low bank. The northern bank is the more
substantial of the two, reaching a width of 5m and surviving to a height of
0.5m above the surface of the surrounding ground. The southern bank is 3m wide
and up to 0.2m high.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Curwen, E, EC, , 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Archaeological Collections, , Vol. 59, (1918), 49
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing