Cross dyke 760m WNW of Pepperscoombe

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1015918
Date first listed:
12-Jun-1997

Map

Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke 760m WNW of Pepperscoombe
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. 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:
Horsham (District Authority)
Parish:
Steyning
National Park:
SOUTH DOWNS
National Grid Reference:
TQ 16021 10939

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 subsequent disturbance, the cross dyke 760m WNW of Pepperscoombe survives well and will retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the construction and original function of the monument.

Details

The monument includes a north west-south east aligned cross dyke constructed across a chalk spur which projects to the north east from a ridge of the Sussex Downs. The c.65m long cross dyke has a ditch up to c.9.5m wide and c.1.5m deep flanked to the north east by a bank up c.5m wide and c.0.75m high. A short stretch of the central part of the earthworks has been levelled by a later sunken trackway and path, and the ditch will survive here in buried form. The ditch and bank fade out gradually at either end as the ground falls 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:
29281
Legacy System:
RSM

Legal

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

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