Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross dyke 520m north east of Cherhill Monument

A Scheduled Monument in Cherhill, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.426 / 51°25'33"N

Longitude: -1.9275 / 1°55'38"W

OS Eastings: 405138.548104

OS Northings: 169673.053789

OS Grid: SU051696

Mapcode National: GBR 3VG.KJ6

Mapcode Global: VHB43.JFW4

Entry Name: Cross dyke 520m north east of Cherhill Monument

Scheduled Date: 15 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018421

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31651

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Cherhill

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Cherhill St James the Great

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a length of linear boundary earthwork located north east
of Oldbury Camp hillfort, on Cherhill Hill, on the north western edge of the
Marlborough Downs.
The boundary earthwork, which survives for a length of 81m running ENE down an
east facing slope, includes a ditch up to 1m deep, either side of which is
a bank up to 0.5m high. The entire structure is 15m wide and is interpreted as
a Bronze Age cross dyke. Other linear boundaries and associated monuments in
the vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
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.

The cross dyke 520m north east of Cherhill Monument survives well and is a
good example of its type. It will contain archaeological remains and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was built. This is one of a series of linear earthworks recorded on the downs
west of Avebury.

Source: Historic England

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