Ancient Monuments

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Cross dyke 330m north west of Whiteways Lodge

A Scheduled Monument in Houghton, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.89 / 50°53'23"N

Longitude: -0.5767 / 0°34'35"W

OS Eastings: 500207.15517

OS Northings: 111018.095723

OS Grid: TQ002110

Mapcode National: GBR FHS.50Q

Mapcode Global: FRA 96PR.769

Entry Name: Cross dyke 330m north west of Whiteways Lodge

Scheduled Date: 7 August 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015960

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29286

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Houghton

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Bury St John the Evangelist with Houghton St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes part of a east-west aligned cross dyke constructed
across a chalk ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The 150m long
earthworks consist of a large ditch up to about 10m wide and 1.2m deep flanked
to the south by a bank up to 8m wide and 0.7m high. A short section of the
earthworks near the eastern end of the monument has been partly disturbed and
levelled by a modern track which runs along the ridge. Records suggest that
the cross dyke originally continued further across the ridge at either end of
the monument, but the earthworks have here been levelled by modern ploughing
and forestry operations, and this area is therefore not included in the

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.

Although it has been partly disturbed by subsequent activities, the cross dyke
at Whiteways survives comparatively well and will retain archaeological
remains and environmental evidence relating to the construction and original
use of the monument.

Source: Historic England

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