Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric linear boundary on Wepham Down

A Scheduled Monument in Angmering, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.879 / 50°52'44"N

Longitude: -0.4907 / 0°29'26"W

OS Eastings: 506280.889406

OS Northings: 109921.797872

OS Grid: TQ062099

Mapcode National: GBR GK7.W6N

Mapcode Global: FRA 96VS.BMS

Entry Name: Prehistoric linear boundary on Wepham Down

Scheduled Date: 30 January 1967

Last Amended: 3 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015716

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29249

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Angmering

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Burpham St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a mainly north west-south east aligned, `L'-shaped
linear earthwork, interpreted as a prehistoric boundary, constructed across
the south western slope of a chalk ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs.
The c.366m long boundary has a large bank up to c.3m high and c.11m wide, two
short sections of which have been levelled by modern agricultural activity.
The bank is flanked on its north western, upslope side by a ditch up to c.7m
wide and c.1m deep. This has become infilled in places over the years, but
will survive here in buried form. Around 300m from its north western end, the
boundary turns sharply southwards. Both ends of the earthwork are formed by
well-defined terminals.
The modern fences which cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath them 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

Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or
multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between
less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features
visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The
evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that
their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although
they may have been re-used later.
The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were
constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries
in the landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of
their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious
associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those
groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance
for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age; all well
preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.

The prehistoric linear boundary on Wepham Down survives well and will contain
important archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the
construction and use of the monument. Around 500m to the south west is a
prehistoric cross dyke, the subject of a separate scheduling. The close
association of these broadly contemporary monuments provides evidence for
different forms of land division in use on the Sussex Downs during the later
prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

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