Ancient Monuments

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Cross dyke on Beachy Brow 30m south east of the golf club

A Scheduled Monument in Old Town, East Sussex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.7654 / 50°45'55"N

Longitude: 0.2477 / 0°14'51"E

OS Eastings: 558606.558394

OS Northings: 98606.258138

OS Grid: TV586986

Mapcode National: GBR MV6.X0W

Mapcode Global: FRA C7D2.4BJ

Entry Name: Cross dyke on Beachy Brow 30m south east of the golf club

Scheduled Date: 5 December 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014731

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27020

County: East Sussex

Electoral Ward/Division: Old Town

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Eastbourne St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

Details

The monument includes a cross dyke which runs across the crest of a ridge of
the Sussex Downs. The cross dyke has a ENE-WSW aligned ditch 75m long, 3.9m
wide and c.0.5m deep flanked on each side by low banks around 3.3m wide,
surviving to a height of up to 0.2m above the surrounding ground. To the ENE,
the earthworks fade out gradually as the ground falls away sharply, whilst the
dyke may have originally continued further across the ridge towards the WSW,
but has here been removed by the construction of the cutting for the A259
road.

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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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 Beachy Brow survives comparatively well. Although it has
been partially destroyed by the construction of a modern road, the surviving
portion of the monument will contain archaeological and environmental evidence
relating to the function of the cross dyke and the nature of its original
setting. The cross dyke lies c.350m to the north west of a further cross dyke
and within an area which contains a number of round barrows. These monuments
are broadly contemporary and their close association will provide evidence for
the relationship between land division and burial practice during the period
of their construction and use.

Source: Historic England

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