Cross dyke on Beeding Hill, 1100m north west of New Erringham Farm Cottages
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Jul-2019 at 21:45:49.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- West Sussex
- Horsham (District Authority)
- Upper Beeding
- National Park:
- SOUTH DOWNS
- National Grid Reference:
- TQ 20745 09130
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 cross dyke on Beeding Hill survives comparatively well, despite some later disturbance. It is known from excavation to contain important archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction and original use of the monument, providing evidence for the division of land in this area of downland during the later prehistoric period.
The monument includes part of a roughly north west-south east aligned cross
dyke constructed across a chalk spur which projects to the west from Beeding
Hill, part of the Sussex Downs.
The 76m long earthwork originally extended for a further 150m to the south,
but this section has been destroyed by 20th century chalk quarrying and is
therefore not included in the scheduling. Investigations in 1976, in advance
of quarrying, revealed that the earthwork has a ditch up to 4.5m wide, which
survives up to a depth of 1.4m below ground. The ditch is flanked to the west
by a bank up to about 7m wide and 0.4m high. Finds recovered during the
excavations included fragments of Early Iron Age pottery. To the north, the
earthworks gradually fade out as the ground falls away.
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:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Bedwin, O, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in The Excavation of a Cross-Dyke at Old Erringham Farm, , Vol. 117, (1979), 11-19
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing