Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross dyke 760m WNW of Pepperscoombe

A Scheduled Monument in Steyning, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8863 / 50°53'10"N

Longitude: -0.352 / 0°21'7"W

OS Eastings: 516019.129738

OS Northings: 110941.534962

OS Grid: TQ160109

Mapcode National: GBR HLR.7V4

Mapcode Global: FRA B64R.QP2

Entry Name: Cross dyke 760m WNW of Pepperscoombe

Scheduled Date: 12 June 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015918

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29281

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Steyning

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Steyning St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a north west-south east aligned cross dyke constructed
across a chalk spur which projects to the north east from a ridge of the
Sussex Downs. The c.65m long cross dyke has a ditch up to c.9.5m wide and
c.1.5m deep flanked to the north east by a bank up c.5m wide and c.0.75m high.
A short stretch of the central part of the earthworks has been levelled by a
later sunken trackway and path, and the ditch will survive here in buried
form. The ditch and bank fade out gradually at either end as the ground falls

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.

Despite some subsequent disturbance, the cross dyke 760m WNW of Pepperscoombe
survives well and will retain archaeological remains and environmental
evidence relating to the construction and original function of the monument.

Source: Historic England

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