Cross dyke on Steyning Round Hill, 700m south west of Pepperscoombe


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016235

Date first listed: 12-Jun-1997


Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke on Steyning Round Hill, 700m south west of Pepperscoombe
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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 16351 10243


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.

Although it has been partly disturbed by modern ploughing and long term use of a bridleway, the cross dyke on Steyning Round Hill survives comparatively well and will retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the construction and original function of the monument.


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


The monument includes the northern part of a north-south aligned cross dyke constructed across a chalk spur which projects to the east from a ridge of the Sussex Downs. The c.72m long earthwork consists of a ditch up to c.5m wide and c.0.75m deep flanked to the east by a bank up to c.6m wide and c.0.5m high. Analysis of aerial photographs has shown that the cross dyke continues to the south of the scheduling as a faint crop mark, but as the earthworks have here been levelled by modern ploughing this area is not included in the scheduling. The modern fence which crosses the monument and the concrete fence posts situated along its western edge 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: 29282

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing