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Cross dyke on Okeford Hill 880m south east of Hartcliff Farm

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: Cross dyke on Okeford Hill 880m south east of Hartcliff Farm

List entry Number: 1016690


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

County: Dorset

District: North Dorset

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Okeford Fitzpaine

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 22-Mar-1934

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Jul-1999

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 31067

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

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 Okeford Hill 880m south east of Hartcliff Farm will contain archaeological remains providing information about later prehistoric land use and environment. This is one of several cross dykes around a contemporary settlement providing an unusual and significant association.


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


The monument includes a cross dyke on Okeford Hill 880m south east of Hartcliffe Farm, crossing a north facing spur from WSW to ENE. It is one of four dykes on the edge of the plateau, possibly associated with the broadly contemporary settlement and fields at Ringmoor 1.5km to the south. These other sites are the subject of separate schedulings. The cross dyke runs from close to the edge of the coombe in the east to a hollow way, marking a previous track, just below the crest of the spur in the west. It has been reduced in height by past ploughing and is visible as a low earthwork at its eastern end. Further west it is no longer visible on the surface except at the field boundaries where it can be seen in profile. It has a bank up to 8m wide and 0.5m high, with, on its southern side, a ditch, visible as a slight depression up to 4m wide and 0.3m deep. Celtic fields have been identified on both sides of the cross dyke but, as they are no longer clearly visible on the surface in the vicinity of the monument, they are not included in the scheduling. All fence posts and the road surface are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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: ST 81134 09702


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This copy shows the entry on 18-Aug-2018 at 03:43:53.

End of official listing