Multiple cross dyke on Little Graffham Bottom, 770m SSW of Hayland Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018059

Date first listed: 10-Jun-1998


Ordnance survey map of Multiple cross dyke on Little Graffham Bottom, 770m SSW of Hayland Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 15-Nov-2018 at 23:13:49.


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

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester (District Authority)

Parish: Graffham

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester (District Authority)

Parish: Heyshott

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 90995 16448


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 multiple cross dyke 770m SSW of Hayland Farm survives well, despite some subsequent disturbance of the earthworks, and is a rare example of the more complex form of this type of monument. It will retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to its construction and original function. The cross dyke lies about 150m to the east of a group of nine Bronze Age bowl barrows and three cross dykes, which are the subject of a separate scheduling. These monuments are broadly contemporary and their close association will provide evidence for the relationship between land division and funerary practices in this area of downland during the later prehistoric period.


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


The monument includes a north-south aligned multiple cross dyke constructed across a chalk ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The 150m long dyke, which coincides with the boundaries of Heyshott and Graffham parishes, has three roughly parallel ditches, up to 8m wide and 1m deep, flanked on either side by banks of up to 6m wide and 0.7m high. Subsequent activities, including the later use of the dyke as a trackway and as a parish boundary bank, have partly disturbed the earthworks, although a substantial proportion of the monument survives. The modern fence posts which cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling, 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: 31207

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing