Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Multiple cross dyke on Little Graffham Bottom, 770m SSW of Hayland Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Graffham, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9403 / 50°56'25"N

Longitude: -0.7062 / 0°42'22"W

OS Eastings: 491000.163915

OS Northings: 116448.400841

OS Grid: SU910164

Mapcode National: GBR DFJ.VPR

Mapcode Global: FRA 96DM.JNV

Entry Name: Multiple cross dyke on Little Graffham Bottom, 770m SSW of Hayland Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018059

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31207

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Graffham

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Heyshott St James

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a north-south aligned multiple cross dyke constructed
across a chalk ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The 150m long dyke,
which coincides with the boundaries of Heyshott and Graffham parishes, has
three roughly parallel ditches, up to 8m wide and 1m deep, flanked on either
side by banks of up to 6m wide and 0.7m high. Subsequent activities, including
the later use of the dyke as a trackway and as a parish boundary bank, have
partly disturbed the earthworks, although a substantial proportion of the
monument survives.
The modern fence posts 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.
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 multiple cross dyke 770m SSW of Hayland Farm survives well, despite some
subsequent disturbance of the earthworks, and is a rare example of the more
complex form of this type of monument. It will retain archaeological remains
and environmental evidence relating to its construction and original function.
The cross dyke lies about 150m to the east of a group of nine Bronze Age bowl
barrows and three cross dykes, which are the subject of a separate scheduling.
These monuments are broadly contemporary and their close association will
provide evidence for the relationship between land division and funerary
practices in this area of downland during the later prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

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