Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross dyke on Sullington Hill, 500m south east of The Chantry

A Scheduled Monument in Storrington and Sullington, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9003 / 50°54'0"N

Longitude: -0.4451 / 0°26'42"W

OS Eastings: 509439.488237

OS Northings: 112348.577093

OS Grid: TQ094123

Mapcode National: GBR GK3.G99

Mapcode Global: FRA 96YQ.JFZ

Entry Name: Cross dyke on Sullington Hill, 500m south east of The Chantry

Scheduled Date: 9 November 1961

Last Amended: 8 May 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015714

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29267

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Storrington and Sullington

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Sullington St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a cross dyke constructed across a chalk spur which
projects to the north east from a ridge of the Sussex Downs. The north
west-south east aligned cross dyke survives as a c.224m long ditch measuring
c.8m wide and up to 1m deep, flanked to the north east by a bank c.9m wide and
up to c.1.3m high. A short section of the dyke near its north western end has
been levelled by long term use of a downland track, and the earthworks have
also been partly disturbed by past modern ploughing and the siting of a
stock-watering tank. To the north west, the earthworks gradually fade out as
the ground falls away. The south eastern end had been destoyed by later,
post-medieval chalk quarrying, and this area is therefore not included in the
The modern fence and gateway which cross the monument and the stock-watering
tank are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 Sullington Hill survives well, despite some subsequent
disturbance, and will retain important archaeological and environmental
evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument. The cross dyke
is one of a group of broadly contemporary monuments situated along the ridge,
providing important evidence for the relationship between burial practices,
settlement and land division in this area of downland during the later
prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

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