Ancient Monuments

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Cross dyke on St Roche's Hill, 410m and 425m north east of The Trundle hillfort

A Scheduled Monument in Singleton, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8953 / 50°53'43"N

Longitude: -0.7499 / 0°44'59"W

OS Eastings: 488014.370225

OS Northings: 111390.038599

OS Grid: SU880113

Mapcode National: GBR DG1.WR9

Mapcode Global: FRA 969Q.ZN5

Entry Name: Cross dyke on St Roche's Hill, 410m and 425m north east of The Trundle hillfort

Scheduled Date: 27 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018036

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31203

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Singleton

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: East Dean, Singleton and West Dean

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument, which falls into two separate areas, includes a north west-south
east aligned cross dyke constructed across a chalk ridge projecting to the
north east from St Roche's Hill, which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The
285m long cross dyke has a ditch up to about 5m wide and 1m deep, flanked to
the north by a bank up to 8m wide and 0.5m high. A short section of the
earthwork has been partly levelled by a later track, although the ditch will
survive here as a buried feature. Towards the north western end of the dyke, a
40m long section of the earthworks has been completely levelled and any
surviving buried features disturbed by the construction of the modern road,
car park and Goodwood race course, and this area is therefore not included in
the scheduling. A short stretch of the dyke west of the Goodwood-Charlton road
has been partly levelled by past ploughing but survives as a slight earthwork
and is clearly visible as a cropmark from higher ground. The earthworks
gradually fade out to the north west and south east as the ground slopes away.
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 410m and 425m north east of The Trundle hillfort survives
comparatively well, despite some subsequent disturbance, and will contain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed. The cross dyke forms part of a
group of broadly contemporary monuments situated on and around St Roche's
Hill, providing evidence for the relationship between settlement and land
division in this area of downland during the later prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

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