Cross dyke on Heathbarn Down, 520m south east of Lodge Hill Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018058

Date first listed: 29-Apr-1998


Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke on Heathbarn Down, 520m south east of Lodge Hill Farm
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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: West Dean

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 84837 12976


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 tree growth, the cross dyke on Heathbarn Down 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 eastern part of an east-west aligned cross dyke constructed across a chalk ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The approximately 40m long earthwork consists of a ditch up to 8m wide and 0.8m deep flanked to the north by a bank up to 6m wide and 0.4m high. To the east, the earthworks gradually fade out on the gently sloping ground. The cross dyke originally continued for a further 70m across the ridge to the west of the monument, but the earthworks here have been levelled and significantly disturbed by modern ploughing and this area is not included in the scheduling. The modern fence which crosses 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: 31206

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing