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Prehistoric linear boundary on Wepham Down

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: Prehistoric linear boundary on Wepham Down

List entry Number: 1015716

Location

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

County: West Sussex

District: Arun

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Burpham

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 30-Jan-1967

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Jul-1997

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 29249

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

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.

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

History

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

Details

The monument includes a mainly north west-south east aligned, `L'-shaped linear earthwork, interpreted as a prehistoric boundary, constructed across the south western slope of a chalk ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The c.366m long boundary has a large bank up to c.3m high and c.11m wide, two short sections of which have been levelled by modern agricultural activity. The bank is flanked on its north western, upslope side by a ditch up to c.7m wide and c.1m deep. This has become infilled in places over the years, but will survive here in buried form. Around 300m from its north western end, the boundary turns sharply southwards. Both ends of the earthwork are formed by well-defined terminals. 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.

Selected Sources

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

National Grid Reference: TQ 06263 09936

Map

Map
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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 - 1015716 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 23-Nov-2017 at 06:50:51.

End of official listing