Cross dyke 920m north east of Dairy Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016905

Date first listed: 10-Jan-2000


Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke 920m north east of Dairy Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Oct-2018 at 07:03:24.


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

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Kingston Deverill

National Grid Reference: ST 83766 38274


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 920m north east of Dairy Farm is well preserved and is a good example of this type of monument providing an important insight into the division of land in the later prehistoric period. It will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.


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


The monument includes a length of cross dyke situated 920m north east of Dairy Farm, crossing the summit of Whitepits Down, part of a long ridge of Middle Chalk on the north side of the Wylye valley. The cross dyke runs SSW to NNE from the top of a small coombe cut into the south facing scarp to a fenceline at the summit of the hill. Beyond this it has been reduced by ploughing and is visible as a soilmark. The surviving stretch is 95m long and consists of a ditch 2.2m wide and 0.2m deep flanked on either side by a bank. The bank to the west is 0.3m high and 4.7m wide and the bank to the east is 0.4m high and 4.1m wide. Only the best preserved section of the cross dyke is included in the scheduling as the quality of surviving remains in the levelled section is unclear. Other linear boundaries in the vicinity are the subjects of separate schedulings.

The fence, which forms the northern boundary of the monument is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 31686

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 253

End of official listing