Ancient Monuments

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Cross dyke on Knowle Hill, 470m SSE of East Creech Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Church Knowle, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6386 / 50°38'18"N

Longitude: -2.098 / 2°5'52"W

OS Eastings: 393162.701738

OS Northings: 82104.153592

OS Grid: SY931821

Mapcode National: GBR 33D.Y34

Mapcode Global: FRA 67HD.2GM

Entry Name: Cross dyke on Knowle Hill, 470m SSE of East Creech Farm

Scheduled Date: 22 July 1964

Last Amended: 14 February 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014842

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28329

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Church Knowle

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Church Knowle St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a cross dyke, orientated north-south, 430m SSE of East
Creech Farm on the lower west facing slope of Knowle Hill, a chalk ridge of
the Isle of Purbeck, overlooking Poole Harbour to the north east and the Corfe
valley to the south. The cross dyke forms part of a group associated with an
Iron Age hilltop enclosure on Knowle Hill. The cross dyke includes a bank
composed of earth, flint and chalk with maximum dimensions of 30.5m in length,
4.6m wide and c.0.6m in height. This is bordered to the west by a ditch from
which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. The ditch
survives as an earthwork 3m wide and c.0.3m deep.

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 Knowle Hill 470m SSE of East Creech Farm survives well and
will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the
monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The cross dyke forms
part of a group of similar monuments which enclose the Iron Age settlement
situated on the upper part of Knowle Hill.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 517
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 517
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 517

Source: Historic England

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