Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross dyke on Woolavington Down, 600m south of Lavington House

A Scheduled Monument in East Lavington, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9332 / 50°55'59"N

Longitude: -0.6544 / 0°39'15"W

OS Eastings: 494653.038238

OS Northings: 115720.789271

OS Grid: SU946157

Mapcode National: GBR FH3.HC4

Mapcode Global: FRA 96JM.T28

Entry Name: Cross dyke on Woolavington Down, 600m south of Lavington House

Scheduled Date: 10 May 1963

Last Amended: 7 August 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015963

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29289

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: East Lavington

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Graffham St Giles with Woolavington St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a NNE-SSW aligned cross dyke constructed across a chalk
ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The 234m long dyke has a ditch up
to about 6m wide and 0.3m deep flanked to the north west by a bank up to 5m
wide and 0.6m high. Three short sections of the earthworks have been levelled
by modern tracks, and the ditch will survive here as a buried feature. The
earthworks gradually fade out at either end of the dyke 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.

Although it has suffered some disturbance, the cross dyke on Woolavington Down
600m south of Lavington House survives comparatively well and will retain
archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and
original purpose. The cross dyke forms part of a group of linear earthworks
and round barrows which cluster along this part of the downland ridge. These
monuments are broadly contemporary and their close association will provide
evidence for the relationship between land division and funerary practices
during the later prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

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