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Cross dyke 600m north of Pitcombe Farm

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: Cross dyke 600m north of Pitcombe Farm

List entry Number: 1011695


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Kingston Russell

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 31-Oct-1957

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Jul-1998

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 22934

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

Despite some reduction in size, the cross dyke 600m north of Pitcombe Farm survives partly as an earthwork and partly as a well-preserved buried feature. The monument represents an unusual survival and is associated with a large dispersed round barrow cemetery to the north east and a group of two long mounds to the north west. Together, these monuments will provide an insight into the history and development of the local landscape.


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


The monument includes a cross dyke, aligned north east by south west, situated on the upper north facing slope of Black Down, overlooking the South Winterbourne valley. The cross dyke was mapped by the Ordnance Survey in 1902 and recorded by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England in 1955. It then comprised a bank 8m wide, 90m long and about 1m high, with a quarry ditch to the west which was 4m wide and about 0.6m deep. The cross dyke has since been partly levelled and the adjacent area of the ditch infilled. Only the southern end now remains upstanding as an earthwork and this has the appearance of a bank 8m wide, 12m long and about 0.5m high. Archaeological field evaluation by English Heritage in 1996 within the levelled areas of the monument has demonstrated the survival of remnants of the bank and the preservation of the quarry ditch as a buried feature 5m wide and about 0.8m deep.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 129
Kenny, J, Excavation and Survey of the Cross Dyke North of Pitcombe Farm, (1996)
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset, (1955)
Title: 1902 Ordnance Survey Edition Source Date: 1902 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SY 58336 90256


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This copy shows the entry on 23-Sep-2018 at 01:09:58.

End of official listing