Double cross dyke on Upwaltham Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018061

Date first listed: 10-Jun-1998


Ordnance survey map of Double cross dyke on Upwaltham Hill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Arun (District Authority)

Parish: Slindon

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester (District Authority)

Parish: Sutton

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester (District Authority)

Parish: Upwaltham

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 95104 12766


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 double cross dyke on Upwaltham Hill 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 the construction and original purpose of the monument. The cross dyke lies about 300m to the east of two Bronze Age bowl barrows, 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 double cross dyke constructed across a chalk ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The dyke, which runs close to the later boundaries of Slindon, Sutton and Upwaltham parishes, has two roughly parallel ditches, up to 6m wide and 1m deep. The ditches are flanked by banks, up to approximately 3m wide and 0.6m high. The roughly north east-south west aligned cross dyke, which runs for about 430m across the ridge, undergoes a sharp change of direction halfway along its length. The earthworks fade out gradually at each end as the ground slopes away. Subsequent activities, including woodland tracks and footpaths which cross the monument in several places, have levelled short sections of the earthworks, although the ditches will survive here as infilled buried features. Finds recovered from the monument during an investigation undertaken in 1916 included worked flints dating to the prehistoric period.

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: 31209

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Curwen, EC, The History and Antiquities of the Counties of E and W Sussex, (1918), 44-45

End of official listing