Cross dyke in Court Plantation, 600m south west of Wiston Barn


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018568

Date first listed: 21-Jan-1999


Ordnance survey map of Cross dyke in Court Plantation, 600m south west of Wiston Barn
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Horsham (District Authority)

Parish: Wiston

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 15328 11391


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 fallen trees, the cross dyke in Court Plantation survives well as an earthwork and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its original period of use.


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


The monument includes a roughly north west-south east aligned cross dyke constructed across a chalk spur which projects to the north east from a ridge of the Sussex Downs. The 50m long earthwork has a ditch up to about 4m wide and 0.5m deep, flanked to the north by a bank up to 6m wide and 0.7m high. At each end, the earthwork fades out above steep slopes.

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: 31218

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing