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Post-medieval stock enclosure at Devil's Dyke

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Post-medieval stock enclosure at Devil's Dyke

List entry Number: 1014954

Location

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

County: West Sussex

District: Mid Sussex

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Poynings

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 07-Oct-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Oct-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27081

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

Stock enclosures of medieval and later date provided winter shelter and corralling for beasts ranging over open pasture. In south east England, they are to be found in relatively remote regions located some distance from the farmstead with which they were associated. They vary in size and shape and reflect local building techniques, styles and materials. They usually survive as a level area surrounded by low banks flanked by construction ditches. Some enclosures would have been further protected by timber fences and gates and smaller examples may have been roofed. Surviving largely in downland areas of less intensive modern land use, medieval and post-medieval stock enclosures provide evidence for pastoral practices in south east England which have left few other traces in the landscape. As a relatively rare monument type, those examples which survive well as upstanding monuments and/or which are documented by part excavation or contemporary records, are considered to merit protection.

The post-medieval stock enclosure at Devil's Dyke survives comparatively well, despite some modern disturbance, and part excavation has shown it to contain archaeological remains relating to its construction and use.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a post-medieval stock enclosure situated at the bottom of Devil's Dyke, the largest dry chalk coomb in Britain, which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The enclosure survives as a north east-south west aligned, rectangular earthwork measuring c.44m by c.18m, defined at each end by a bank c.4m wide and up to 1m high. The banks are flanked by an outer ditch c.6m wide and c.0.5m deep. Along the north western side is a low bank c.2m wide. Part excavation in 1908 confirmed the identification of the monument, known locally as Giant's Graves and previously assumed to be a burial mound. The enclosure was used for the stalling of working oxen and as winter housing for fatstock cattle.

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
Toms, H S, 'Brighton and Hove Archaeologist' in Valley Entrenchments West of the Ditchling Road, , Vol. 2, (1924), 69-72

National Grid Reference: TQ 26574 11237

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1014954 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 17-Nov-2017 at 11:19:58.

End of official listing