Cross dyke on Barpham Hill, 600m north west of Lower Barpham


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015715

Date first listed: 03-Jul-1997


Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke on Barpham Hill, 600m north west of Lower Barpham
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Arun (District Authority)

Parish: Angmering

County: West Sussex

District: Arun (District Authority)

Parish: Burpham

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 06659 09622


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.

The cross dyke on Barpham Hill survives well and will contain important archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. Around 500m to the north west is a prehistoric linear boundary, the subject of a separate scheduling. The close association of these broadly contemporary monuments provides evidence for the different forms of land division in use on the Sussex Downs during the later prehistoric period.


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


The monument includes an east-west aligned cross dyke constructed across a ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The c.246m long cross dyke, which coincides with the Burpham/Angmering parish boundary, has a ditch up to c.9m wide and c.1.2m deep, flanked on its southern side by a bank up to c.6m wide and c.1.5m high. A well preserved counterscarp bank up to c.4m wide and c.0.4m high runs along the northern lip of the ditch. The original entrance through the dyke is represented by a simple, centrally placed gap of c.5m. Two later, ridge-top tracks have partly levelled the earthworks, and the western end of the monument has been partly disturbed by past ploughing. 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: 29248

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing