Cross dyke on Sullington Hill, 500m south east of The Chantry
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1015714
Date first listed: 09-Nov-1961
Date of most recent amendment: 08-May-1997
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Feb-2019 at 05:22:40.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: West Sussex
District: Horsham (District Authority)
Parish: Storrington and Sullington
National Park: SOUTH DOWNS
National Grid Reference: TQ 09442 12348
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.
The cross dyke on Sullington Hill survives well, despite some subsequent disturbance, and will retain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument. The cross dyke is one of a group of broadly contemporary monuments situated along the ridge, providing important evidence for the relationship between burial practices, settlement and land division in this area of downland during the later prehistoric period.
The monument includes a cross dyke constructed across a chalk spur which
projects to the north east from a ridge of the Sussex Downs. The north
west-south east aligned cross dyke survives as a c.224m long ditch measuring
c.8m wide and up to 1m deep, flanked to the north east by a bank c.9m wide and
up to c.1.3m high. A short section of the dyke near its north western end has
been levelled by long term use of a downland track, and the earthworks have
also been partly disturbed by past modern ploughing and the siting of a
stock-watering tank. To the north west, the earthworks gradually fade out as
the ground falls away. The south eastern end had been destoyed by later,
post-medieval chalk quarrying, and this area is therefore not included in the
The modern fence and gateway which cross the monument and the stock-watering
tank are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 29267
Legacy System: RSM
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