Ancient Monuments

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Linear boundary 310m north west of the Tansley Stone on Bow Hill

A Scheduled Monument in West Dean, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.895 / 50°53'42"N

Longitude: -0.8359 / 0°50'9"W

OS Eastings: 481968.01433

OS Northings: 111258.350607

OS Grid: SU819112

Mapcode National: GBR CDL.ZCT

Mapcode Global: FRA 964Q.VKQ

Entry Name: Linear boundary 310m north west of the Tansley Stone on Bow Hill

Scheduled Date: 4 August 1933

Last Amended: 26 September 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008373

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24391

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: West Dean

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Octagon

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a linear earthwork running along the slope from south
west to north east below the crest of a hill of the Sussex Downs. The
earthwork is a ditch 440m long, up to 10m wide and 0.5m deep flanked on the
downslope side by a bank 0.5m high and up to 5m wide. The south western end of
the earthwork is formed by a distinct rounded terminal, while to the north
east, the boundary gradually fades into the steep hillside.

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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Beneficial land use over the years has enabled Bow Hill and Kingley Vale to
support one of the most diverse and well preserved areas of chalk downland
archaeological remains in south eastern England. These remains are considered
to be of particular significance because they include types of monument,
dating from the prehistoric and Roman periods, more often found in Wessex and
south western Britain. The well-preserved and often visible relationship
between trackways, settlement sites, land boundaries, stock enclosures, flint
mines, ceremonial and funerary monuments in the area gives significant insight
into successive changes in the pattern of land use over time.
Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or
multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between
less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features
visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The
evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrates that
their construction spans the millenium from the Middle Bronze Age, although
they may have been reused later.
The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were
constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries
in the landscape, their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of
their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious
associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those
groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance
for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age; all well
preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.
The linear boundary on Bow Hill survives well and can be expected to retain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed. The linear boundary is one of a
series of linear earthworks partly enclosing the three limbs of the Y-shaped
hilltop and The Devil's Humps round barrow cemetery, and is situated c.260m
south west of, and shares the same alignment with, an associated linear
boundary. These monuments are broadly contemporary and their close association
will therefore provide evidence for the relationship between land division and
funerary practice during the period of their construction and use.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Curwen, EC, Prehistoric Sussex, (1929), 140
Curwen, E, EC, , 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Archaeological Collections, , Vol. 59, (1918), 49-50

Source: Historic England

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