Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross dyke on Tottington Mount, 550m south east of Tottington Manor Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Upper Beeding, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8865 / 50°53'11"N

Longitude: -0.2699 / 0°16'11"W

OS Eastings: 521792.672245

OS Northings: 111091.294819

OS Grid: TQ217110

Mapcode National: GBR HLV.BLD

Mapcode Global: FRA B6BR.LP0

Entry Name: Cross dyke on Tottington Mount, 550m south east of Tottington Manor Farm

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016811

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31217

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Upper Beeding

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Beeding St Peter and Bramber St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a roughly north east-south west aligned cross dyke
constructed across the northern slopes of a chalk spur which projects to the
north west from the main ridge of the Sussex Downs. The 74m long earthwork has
a ditch up to about 3m wide and 0.3m deep, flanked to the north west by a low
bank up to about 4m wide and 0.4m high. The earthworks have been partly
disturbed by the long term use of a bridleway, which crosses the monument at
its south western end. The earthworks fade out at each end as the ground falls
The modern fence which crosses the monument is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath it 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.

The cross dyke on Tottington Mount survives well, despite some later
disturbance, and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence
relating to the construction and original purpose of the monument.

Source: Historic England

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