Cross dyke on Newtimber Hill

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015717

Date first listed: 03-Jul-1997

Map

Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke on Newtimber Hill
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

County: West Sussex

District: Mid Sussex (District Authority)

Parish: Newtimber

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 27588 12318

Summary

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 Newtimber Hill survives well as an earthwork along most of its original extent and displays a good diversity of features. It will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction, form and original purpose of the monument.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a roughly north-south aligned cross dyke constructed across a chalk ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The c.394m long earthwork has a ditch up to c.10m wide and c.0.5m deep, flanked to the west by a low bank. At its northern end and along a short stretch c.70m from its southern end, a second low bank runs along the eastern side of the ditch. The earthworks have been partly disturbed by post-medieval flint diggings and tree roots, and long term use of several downland tracks which cross the monument have levelled short sections of the banks. To the south, the earthworks gradually fade out as the ground falls away, whilst the northern end of the dyke is formed by a more sharply defined and elaborate terminal, with a second, short length of ditch flanking the western bank.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 29250

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing