Cross dyke on Beeding Hill, 1100m north west of New Erringham Farm Cottages

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018567

Date first listed: 21-Jan-1999

Map

Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke on Beeding Hill, 1100m north west of New Erringham Farm Cottages
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Location

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

County: West Sussex

District: Horsham (District Authority)

Parish: Upper Beeding

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 20745 09130

Summary

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 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.

History

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

Details

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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 31216

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Bedwin, O, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in The Excavation of a Cross-Dyke at Old Erringham Farm, , Vol. 117, (1979), 11-19

End of official listing