Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross dyke on Woolavington Down, 475m north east of Tegleaze Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Graffham, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9359 / 50°56'9"N

Longitude: -0.6677 / 0°40'3"W

OS Eastings: 493715.30844

OS Northings: 116010.324527

OS Grid: SU937160

Mapcode National: GBR FH3.61D

Mapcode Global: FRA 96HM.MQS

Entry Name: Cross dyke on Woolavington Down, 475m north east of Tegleaze Farm

Scheduled Date: 17 January 1961

Last Amended: 8 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015965

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29291

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Graffham

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 north east-south west aligned cross dyke constructed
across a chalk ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The cross dyke
survives as a low bank up to c.3m wide and c.0.5m high, two short sections of
which have been levelled by modern trackways. Records suggest that each side
of the bank is flanked by a ditch up to c.2m wide. These have become infilled
by regular modern ploughing and will survive as below ground archaeological
features. The cross dyke may have originally continued further across the
ridge to the south west of the monument, but any earthworks will have here
been levelled by subsequent agricultural operations, and this area is
therefore not included in the scheduling.

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 on Woolavington Down 475m
north east of Tegleaze Farm survives comparatively well and will retain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed. The cross dyke forms part of a
group of linear earthworks and round barows 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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