Ancient Monuments

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Cross dyke 180m north of radio masts at Glatting Beacon

A Scheduled Monument in Bignor, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9111 / 50°54'39"N

Longitude: -0.6278 / 0°37'40"W

OS Eastings: 496564.018913

OS Northings: 113299.564117

OS Grid: SU965132

Mapcode National: GBR FHB.XRC

Mapcode Global: FRA 96KP.R74

Entry Name: Cross dyke 180m north of radio masts at Glatting Beacon

Scheduled Date: 18 January 1998

Last Amended: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016620

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32245

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Bignor

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Burton with Coates

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument, which falls into two separate areas of protection, includes an
east-west aligned cross dyke constructed across a ridge projecting northwards
from a chalk hill which forms part of the Sussex Downs.
The 180m long cross dyke has a ditch on its southern side up to about 7m wide
and 1m deep and is flanked to the north by a bank up to about 10m wide and 1m
high. At each end the earthwork fades out above steep slopes. Towards the
centre of the dyke, a 10m long section of the earthwork has been completely
levelled and any surviving buried features significantly disturbed by the
construction of a later track. This area is therefore not included in the
scheduling. A short section of the ditch on its southern edge has been clipped
by later quarrying.
The modern fences which cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath them is included.

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.

The cross dyke 180m north of the radio masts at Glatting Beacon survives well,
despite some later disturbance, and will contain archaeological and
environmental evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument.
The cross dyke is one of a group of broadly contemporary monuments situated
along this part of the Sussex Downs, providing evidence for the relationship
between burial practices, settlement and land division in the area during the
later prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

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