A prehistoric linear boundary known as Pook's Dyke and the south eastern part of Itford Hill settlement


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014628

Date first listed: 01-May-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jul-1996


Ordnance survey map of A prehistoric linear boundary known as Pook's Dyke and the south eastern part of Itford Hill settlement
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Nov-2018 at 23:38:25.


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

County: East Sussex

District: Lewes (District Authority)

Parish: Beddingham

County: East Sussex

District: Lewes (District Authority)

Parish: Tarring Neville

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 44548 05125


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

Reasons for Designation

Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been re-used later. The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries in the landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age; all well preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.

Itford Hill style settlements are small domestic settlements of one to three households, usually covering an area of between 1ha and 3ha, comprising a series of small banked compounds set back to back. The compounds are frequently associated with tracks and hollow ways which link the settlements to field systems, and round barrow cemeteries are often nearby. The settlements date to the Late Bronze Age (tenth to eighth centuries BC). Excavated examples have shown that the compounds usually contain circular wooden buildings varying in diameter from 3m to 8m, with entrance porches. Associated with these structures would have been a series of working areas and fenced compounds; small ponds have also been found. Finds, including loomweights and carbonised grain, provide evidence for the practice of a mixed farming economy. Itford Hill style settlements are found in southern England, principally in the chalk downland of Sussex. They are a rare monument type, with less than 20 examples known nationally. Pook's Dyke linear boundary and the south eastern part of the settlement on Itford Hill survive well, despite some levelling of the earthworks over the years, and the settlement has been shown by part excavation to contain a wide range of archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the period in which it was constructed and used. The close association of these broadly contemporary monuments will provide evidence for the relationship between land division and settlement during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes a slightly curved, linear boundary running along the slope from south west to north east below the crest of a ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs, and the south eastern part of Itford Hill settlement, dating to the Late Bronze Age. The larger part of the settlement lies 150m to the north west and is the subject of a separate scheduling. The linear earthwork has a bank c.616m long, c.7m wide and up to c.1.2m high, flanked on its south eastern, downslope side by a ditch c.5m wide and up to c.1m deep. Towards the north eastern end of the monument the ditch has become infilled over the years, but will survive as a buried feature. The south eastern part of the Bronze Age settlement lies at the north eastern end of the linear boundary and consists of three, south west-north east aligned oval-shaped building platforms set against a low earthen bank to the north west. Part excavation between 1949-52 showed the north easternmost of these to contain three circular timber buildings representing houses, food and textile preparation huts or stock shelters. Finds discovered during the excavation suggest that the settlement was in use during the tenth to eighth centuries BC. These included pottery sherds, loomweights, carbonised grain, fragments of saddle querns and the bones of cattle and sheep or goats. Among the more unusual artefacts found were part of an armlet made of shale from Kimmeredge in Dorset and a carved chalk phallus. The modern fences which cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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: 27063

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Burstow, G P, Holleyman, G A, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Late Bronze Age Settlement on Itford Hill, Sussex, , Vol. XXIII, (1957), 167-212
Ellison, A, 'Council for British Archaeology Research Report' in The Bronze Age of Sussex, , Vol. 29, (1978), 30-37
source 2, RCHME, TQ 40 NW 2, (1972)

End of official listing