Ancient Monuments

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Cross ridge dyke extending north and south of The Three Horse Shoes Inn

A Scheduled Monument in Southleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7153 / 50°42'55"N

Longitude: -3.1503 / 3°9'1"W

OS Eastings: 318882.031

OS Northings: 91265.6159

OS Grid: SY188912

Mapcode National: GBR PC.5DWX

Mapcode Global: FRA 4796.0HL

Entry Name: Cross ridge dyke extending north and south of The Three Horse Shoes Inn

Scheduled Date: 30 January 1952

Last Amended: 20 August 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017771

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29636

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Southleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Southleigh St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a prehistoric cross ridge dyke taking the form of a bank
and adjacent ditch running north-south and straddling an east-west ridge
midway between Seaton and Sidmouth. The monument survives as a combination of
above and below ground remains and it may have extended beyond those
sections of it which are now visible or which have been recorded. The known
portion of the cross ridge dyke extends for a total distance of 640m from NGR
SY18769102 in the south to SY19009162 in the north. Only the most northerly
200m may been seen above ground where the monument survives as a low flat bank
about 7.5m wide and 0.6m high in fields behind The Three Horse Shoes Inn.
Excavation in 1993 across the line of the earthwork north of the Inn
demonstrated that the monument was univallate with a ditch sited on the
eastern side of the bank. The ditch was found in excavation to be `V'-shaped,
about 5.5m in width and 1.7m in depth, and was sealed with material derived
from the bank either by way of slumping or by plough action. A radio carbon
sample obtained from charcoal beneath the bank provided a prehistoric date.
The known southern portion of the earthwork had a bank recorded as 10m in
width, this width perhaps caused by spread due to plough action. Although
it is no longer visible above ground, its former position is made clear by an
Ordnance Survey map of 1889 which shows the bank extending into fields south
of The Three Horse Shoes Inn for a distance of over 250m. The associated ditch
will survive as a below ground feature shadowing the course of the bank in the
fields south of The Three Horse Shoes, beneath the A3052, The Three Horse
Shoes Inn itself, and along the eastern side of the bank in the fields further
to the north.
Excluded from the scheduling are The Three Horse Shoes Inn, all outbuildings
and garages, all paved and made up surfaces including the surface of the
A3052, all fencing, gates, and gate posts, although the ground beneath all of
these features 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.

Despite having been reduced by cultivation, the cross dyke straddling the
ridge either side of The Three Horse Shoes Inn represents a rare survival of
this type of monument and it possesses features, either visible at ground
level or buried beneath the ground surface, which contain archaeological and
environmental information about the monument and the landscape in which it was

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hutchinson, P O, Hutchinson Diaries, (1861)
Hutchinson, P O, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in On Hill Fortresses and other Antiquities in SE Devon, , Vol. 2, (1868), 381
Reed, S J, Watts, M, 'EMAFU Reports' in Archaeological Recording at Cross Dyke Earthwork, Southleigh, , Vol. 94.43, (1994)
Wall, J C, 'A History of the County of Devon (Victoria County History)' in Ancient Earthworks, , Vol. I, (1906), 624-5
Title: Ordnance Survey
Source Date: 1889

Source: Historic England

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