Cross ridge dyke extending north and south of The Three Horse Shoes Inn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017771

Date first listed: 30-Jan-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 20-Aug-1998


Ordnance survey map of Cross ridge dyke extending north and south of The Three Horse Shoes Inn
© 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.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1017771 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 19-Jan-2019 at 22:39:01.


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

County: Devon

District: East Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Branscombe

County: Devon

District: East Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Southleigh

National Grid Reference: SY 18882 91266


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 having been reduced by cultivation, the cross dyke straddling the ridge either side of The Three Horse Shoes Inn represents a rare survival of this type of monument and it possesses features, either visible at ground level or buried beneath the ground surface, which contain archaeological and environmental information about 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 prehistoric cross ridge dyke taking the form of a bank and adjacent ditch running north-south and straddling an east-west ridge midway between Seaton and Sidmouth. The monument survives as a combination of above and below ground remains and it may have extended beyond those sections of it which are now visible or which have been recorded. The known portion of the cross ridge dyke extends for a total distance of 640m from NGR SY18769102 in the south to SY19009162 in the north. Only the most northerly 200m may been seen above ground where the monument survives as a low flat bank about 7.5m wide and 0.6m high in fields behind The Three Horse Shoes Inn. Excavation in 1993 across the line of the earthwork north of the Inn demonstrated that the monument was univallate with a ditch sited on the eastern side of the bank. The ditch was found in excavation to be `V'-shaped, about 5.5m in width and 1.7m in depth, and was sealed with material derived from the bank either by way of slumping or by plough action. A radio carbon sample obtained from charcoal beneath the bank provided a prehistoric date. The known southern portion of the earthwork had a bank recorded as 10m in width, this width perhaps caused by spread due to plough action. Although it is no longer visible above ground, its former position is made clear by an Ordnance Survey map of 1889 which shows the bank extending into fields south of The Three Horse Shoes Inn for a distance of over 250m. The associated ditch will survive as a below ground feature shadowing the course of the bank in the fields south of The Three Horse Shoes, beneath the A3052, The Three Horse Shoes Inn itself, and along the eastern side of the bank in the fields further to the north. Excluded from the scheduling are The Three Horse Shoes Inn, all outbuildings and garages, all paved and made up surfaces including the surface of the A3052, all fencing, gates, and gate posts, although the ground beneath all of 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.


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

Legacy System number: 29636

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hutchinson, P O, Hutchinson Diaries, (1861)
Hutchinson, P O, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in On Hill Fortresses and other Antiquities in SE Devon, , Vol. 2, (1868), 381
Reed, S J, Watts, M, 'EMAFU Reports' in Archaeological Recording at Cross Dyke Earthwork, Southleigh, , Vol. 94.43, (1994)
Wall, J C, 'A History of the County of Devon (Victoria County History)' in Ancient Earthworks, , Vol. I, (1906), 624-5
Title: Ordnance Survey Source Date: 1889 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing