Ancient Monuments

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Cross dyke and bowl barrow 310m south east of Wolstonbury Camp

A Scheduled Monument in Pyecombe, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9058 / 50°54'20"N

Longitude: -0.1727 / 0°10'21"W

OS Eastings: 528575.44486

OS Northings: 113399.360472

OS Grid: TQ285133

Mapcode National: GBR JN3.554

Mapcode Global: FRA B6JQ.2K1

Entry Name: Cross dyke and bowl barrow 310m south east of Wolstonbury Camp

Scheduled Date: 3 November 1958

Last Amended: 31 January 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015226

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27075

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Pyecombe

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Pyecombe The Transfiguration

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a univallate cross dyke and a bowl barrow situated on a
chalk spur which projects to the south east from Wolstonbury Hill, forming
part of the Sussex Downs. The roughly south west-north east aligned cross dyke
has a ditch c.4m wide and up to 0.5m deep which runs across the spur for a
length of c.224m. The ditch is flanked to the north west by a bank up to 6m
wide and c.0.7m high. Part of the earthworks have been levelled by a c.4m wide
track which runs along the top of the spur and crosses the dyke c.70m from its
north eastern end, although the infilled ditch will survive here as a buried
feature. To the north east of the track, the ditch is flanked on its south
eastern side by a slight counterscarp bank c.3m wide and up to 0.3m high. The
north eastern terminal of the cross dyke is well defined, occurring at the
point where the spur side falls away sharply. Records suggest that the ditch
originally continued from the south eastern end of the monument for a further
c.50m, although the earthworks have been levelled here by modern ploughing,
and this area is therefore not included in the scheduling.
The bowl barrow partly overlies the cross dyke and is situated just to the
south west of a track. It has a roughly circular mound c.18m in diameter and
c.1m high, with a large central hollow suggesting past part excavation. The
mound is surrounded by a ditch from which material used to construct the
barrow was excavated. This has become infilled over the years but survives as
a buried feature c.2.5m wide. The north western side of the barrow and that
part of the cross dyke which lies adjacent to the track have been partly
disturbed by 19th century flint diggings.
The modern fence which crosses the monument is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath it is included.

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.

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
The cross dyke and bowl barrow 310m south east of Wolstonbury Camp survive
well, despite some later disturbance, and will contain important
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the ways in
which the monument was constructed and used. The cross dyke and bowl barrow
form part of a group of broadly contemporary monuments situated on Wolstonbury
Hill, including Wolstonbury Camp (SM 27077) and a platform barrow c.120m to
the north west (SM 27076). Their close association will provide evidence for
the relationship between ceremonial and burial practices and land division
during the later prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


ref 2, RCHME, TQ 21 SE 18, (1934)

Source: Historic England

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