Cross dyke on St Roche's Hill, 480m north west of The Trundle hillfort


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018035

Date first listed: 25-Mar-1975

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Apr-1998


Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke on St Roche's Hill, 480m north west of The Trundle hillfort
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester (District Authority)

Parish: Singleton

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester (District Authority)

Parish: West Dean

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 87383 11386


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 partly disturbed by subsequent activities, the cross dyke 480m north west of The Trundle hillfort survives well and will retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The cross dyke forms part of a group of broadly contemporary monuments situated on St Roche's Hill, providing evidence for the relationship between settlement and land division in this area during the later prehistoric period.


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


The monument includes a roughly south west-north east aligned cross dyke constructed across a chalk ridge projecting to the north west from St Roche's Hill, which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The 240m long earthworks, which gently curve to the south at each end, consist of a ditch up to about 6m wide and 0.5m deep flanked to the north by a bank up to 8m wide and 0.8m high. Two later woodland tracks and a minor road have partly levelled the earthworks, and the eastern section of the monument has been partly disturbed by past ploughing. The modern fences which cross the monument, and the surface of the road and tracks, are excluded from the sheduling, 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: 31202

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing