Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross dyke on Steyning Round Hill, 700m south west of Pepperscoombe

A Scheduled Monument in Steyning, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.88 / 50°52'47"N

Longitude: -0.3475 / 0°20'50"W

OS Eastings: 516350.426279

OS Northings: 110242.22181

OS Grid: TQ163102

Mapcode National: GBR HLR.NZK

Mapcode Global: FRA B65S.0FW

Entry Name: Cross dyke on Steyning Round Hill, 700m south west of Pepperscoombe

Scheduled Date: 12 June 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016235

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29282

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Steyning

Built-Up Area: 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 the northern part of a north-south aligned cross dyke
constructed across a chalk spur which projects to the east from a ridge of the
Sussex Downs. The c.72m long earthwork consists of a ditch up to c.5m wide and
c.0.75m deep flanked to the east by a bank up to c.6m wide and c.0.5m high.
Analysis of aerial photographs has shown that the cross dyke continues to the
south of the scheduling as a faint crop mark, but as the earthworks have here
been levelled by modern ploughing this area is not included in the scheduling.
The modern fence which crosses the monument and the concrete fence posts
situated along its western edge are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath them is included.

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 been partly disturbed by modern ploughing and long term use of
a bridleway, the cross dyke on Steyning Round Hill survives comparatively 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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