Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross dyke 920m north east of Dairy Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Kingston Deverill, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1435 / 51°8'36"N

Longitude: -2.2334 / 2°14'0"W

OS Eastings: 383765.830635

OS Northings: 138272.390828

OS Grid: ST837382

Mapcode National: GBR 1VX.65R

Mapcode Global: VH97V.7JM8

Entry Name: Cross dyke 920m north east of Dairy Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 January 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016905

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31686

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Kingston Deverill

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: The Deverills and Horningsham

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a length of cross dyke situated 920m north east of Dairy
Farm, crossing the summit of Whitepits Down, part of a long ridge of Middle
Chalk on the north side of the Wylye valley.
The cross dyke runs SSW to NNE from the top of a small coombe cut into the
south facing scarp to a fenceline at the summit of the hill. Beyond this it
has been reduced by ploughing and is visible as a soilmark. The surviving
stretch is 95m long and consists of a ditch 2.2m wide and 0.2m deep flanked on
either side by a bank. The bank to the west is 0.3m high and 4.7m wide and the
bank to the east is 0.4m high and 4.1m wide.
Only the best preserved section of the cross dyke is included in the
scheduling as the quality of surviving remains in the levelled section is
unclear. Other linear boundaries in the vicinity are the subjects of separate

The fence, which forms the northern boundary of 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.

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 920m north east of Dairy Farm is well preserved and is a good
example of this type of monument providing an important insight into the
division of land in the later prehistoric period. It will contain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 253

Source: Historic England

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