Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross dyke on Newtimber Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Newtimber, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8967 / 50°53'47"N

Longitude: -0.1869 / 0°11'12"W

OS Eastings: 527598.610621

OS Northings: 112363.263767

OS Grid: TQ275123

Mapcode National: GBR JN3.ML7

Mapcode Global: FRA B6HQ.WHP

Entry Name: Cross dyke on Newtimber Hill

Scheduled Date: 3 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015717

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29250

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Newtimber

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Newtimber St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a roughly north-south aligned cross dyke constructed
across a chalk ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The c.394m long
earthwork has a ditch up to c.10m wide and c.0.5m deep, flanked to the west by
a low bank. At its northern end and along a short stretch c.70m from its
southern end, a second low bank runs along the eastern side of the ditch. The
earthworks have been partly disturbed by post-medieval flint diggings and tree
roots, and long term use of several downland tracks which cross the monument
have levelled short sections of the banks. To the south, the earthworks
gradually fade out as the ground falls away, whilst the northern end of the
dyke is formed by a more sharply defined and elaborate terminal, with a
second, short length of ditch flanking the western bank.

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 Newtimber Hill survives well as an earthwork along most of
its original extent and displays a good diversity of features. It will contain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction, form
and original purpose of the monument.

Source: Historic England

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