Ancient Monuments

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Cross dyke 450m west of Cherhill Monument

A Scheduled Monument in Cherhill, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4233 / 51°25'23"N

Longitude: -1.9393 / 1°56'21"W

OS Eastings: 404316.647521

OS Northings: 169369.042324

OS Grid: SU043693

Mapcode National: GBR 3VG.NJ2

Mapcode Global: VHB43.BHM7

Entry Name: Cross dyke 450m west of Cherhill Monument

Scheduled Date: 15 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018423

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31653

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Cherhill

Built-Up Area: Cherhill

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Calstone Wellington St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument, which falls into three areas, includes a length of linear
boundary earthwork 450m west of Cherhill Monument, on the north western scarp
of the Marlborough Downs.
The boundary earthwork includes a ditch up to 0.8m deep flanked on the west
side by a bank up to 1m high. The entire structure is 13.9m wide and is
interpreted as a Bronze Age cross dyke.
The earthwork survives in three sections running south west-north east,
crossing two tracks. From south to north they are 51m, 42m and 32m long
respectively with an overall length of 150m including the breaks. The tracks
are downcut and it is considered that archaeological remains will not survive
beneath them.
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 450m west 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

Source: Historic England

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