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Post-medieval stock enclosure at Devil's Dyke

A Scheduled Monument in Newtimber, West Sussex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.8868 / 50°53'12"N

Longitude: -0.2019 / 0°12'6"W

OS Eastings: 526573.708574

OS Northings: 111236.059125

OS Grid: TQ265112

Mapcode National: GBR JN8.9RS

Mapcode Global: FRA B6GR.P4F

Entry Name: Post-medieval stock enclosure at Devil's Dyke

Scheduled Date: 7 October 1925

Last Amended: 18 October 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014954

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27081

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Newtimber

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Poynings Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

Details

The monument includes a post-medieval stock enclosure situated at the bottom
of Devil's Dyke, the largest dry chalk coomb in Britain, which forms part of
the Sussex Downs. The enclosure survives as a north east-south west aligned,
rectangular earthwork measuring c.44m by c.18m, defined at each end by a bank
c.4m wide and up to 1m high. The banks are flanked by an outer ditch c.6m wide
and c.0.5m deep. Along the north western side is a low bank c.2m wide. Part
excavation in 1908 confirmed the identification of the monument, known locally
as Giant's Graves and previously assumed to be a burial mound. The enclosure
was used for the stalling of working oxen and as winter housing for fatstock
cattle.

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

Stock enclosures of medieval and later date provided winter shelter and
corralling for beasts ranging over open pasture. In south east England, they
are to be found in relatively remote regions located some distance from the
farmstead with which they were associated. They vary in size and shape and
reflect local building techniques, styles and materials. They usually survive
as a level area surrounded by low banks flanked by construction ditches. Some
enclosures would have been further protected by timber fences and gates and
smaller examples may have been roofed. Surviving largely in downland areas of
less intensive modern land use, medieval and post-medieval stock enclosures
provide evidence for pastoral practices in south east England which have left
few other traces in the landscape. As a relatively rare monument type, those
examples which survive well as upstanding monuments and/or which are
documented by part excavation or contemporary records, are considered to merit
protection.

The post-medieval stock enclosure at Devil's Dyke survives comparatively well,
despite some modern disturbance, and part excavation has shown it to contain
archaeological remains relating to its construction and use.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Toms, H S, 'Brighton and Hove Archaeologist' in Valley Entrenchments West of the Ditchling Road, , Vol. 2, (1924), 69-72

Source: Historic England

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