Cross dyke on West Harting Down, 650m south west of Foxcombe Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015884

Date first listed: 12-Jun-1997

Map

Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke on West Harting Down, 650m south west of Foxcombe Farm
© 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: Chichester (District Authority)

Parish: Harting

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 76458 18500

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.

Despite some disturbance by a later track, the cross dyke on West Harting Down survives well and will retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the construction and original purpose of the monument.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a north east-south west aligned cross dyke constructed across a chalk ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The c.270m long cross dyke has a ditch up to c.7m wide and 0.5m deep, flanked to the east by a bank up to c.5m wide and 0.4m high. A short stretch of the central section of the earthworks has been levelled by the construction and use of a downland track which runs along the ridge, although the ditch will survive here as a buried feature. At either end of the cross dyke the earthworks gradually fade out as the ground slopes away.

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: 29276

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing