Cross dyke on Pashley Hill


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke on Pashley Hill
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Sep-2019 at 10:51:37.


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

East Sussex
Eastbourne (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
TV 58800 98294

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.

Although the cross dyke on Pashley Hill shows some signs of modern disturbance and has been partially damaged by scrub growth and a public bridleway, it survives comparatively well, containing archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the function of the monument and the nature of its original setting. The cross dyke lies c.350m to the south east of a further cross dyke and within an area which contains a number of round barrows. These monuments are broadly contemporary and their close association will provide evidence for the relationship between land division and burial practice during the period of their construction and use.


The monument includes a cross dyke which runs across the crest of a ridge of the Sussex Downs. The cross dyke has a north east-south west aligned ditch 163m long, 7m wide and c.1m deep flanked on each side by banks around 2m wide, surviving to a height of up to 0.5m above the surrounding ground. Around 42m from its south western end, the dyke is crossed by a downland track which has partially damaged the earthworks, and the rounded, south western terminal of the ditch has been partially obscured by modern dumping. To the north east, the dyke fades out as the ground falls sharply away to form the north eastern slope of the ridge.

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.

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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

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