Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross dyke on Upwaltham Hill, 500m and 620m south east of Upwaltham Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Upwaltham, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9117 / 50°54'42"N

Longitude: -0.6551 / 0°39'18"W

OS Eastings: 494645.3299

OS Northings: 113334.2594

OS Grid: SU946133

Mapcode National: GBR FH9.P6H

Mapcode Global: FRA 96JP.LLY

Entry Name: Cross dyke on Upwaltham Hill, 500m and 620m south east of Upwaltham Farm

Scheduled Date: 29 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018060

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31208

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Upwaltham

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Upwaltham St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument, which falls into two separate areas, includes the western and
eastern sections of a south west-north east aligned cross dyke constructed
across a chalk spur which projects to the north west from a ridge of the
Sussex Downs. The 318m long cross dyke has a ditch up to 3.5m wide and 0.3m
deep, flanked to the north east by a bank up to 5.5m wide and 0.3m high.
Across the centre of the dyke, an approximately 190m long section of the
earthworks has been completely levelled and any surviving buried features
disturbed by past modern ploughing; this area is therefore not included in
the scheduling. The earthworks gradually fade out at each end as the ground
slopes away.
The modern fences 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.

This cross dyke on Upwaltham Hill 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 dispersed group of broadly
contemporary monuments situated along the ridge, providing evidence for the
relationship between burial practices, settlement and land division in this
area of downland during the later prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

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