Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Linear boundary on Stoke Down, 800m north of West Stoke House

A Scheduled Monument in Funtington, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8793 / 50°52'45"N

Longitude: -0.8274 / 0°49'38"W

OS Eastings: 482588.679858

OS Northings: 109525.362048

OS Grid: SU825095

Mapcode National: GBR DG4.TW5

Mapcode Global: FRA 964S.5H8

Entry Name: Linear boundary on Stoke Down, 800m north of West Stoke House

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018564

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31213

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Funtington

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Funtington and West Stoke with Sennicotts

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes the best surviving, southern part of a roughly north
east-south west aligned linear boundary, constructed along the western slope
of a chalk spur which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The 94m long earthwork
has a ditch up to about 4.5m wide and 0.3m deep, flanked to the west by a low
bank up to 5m wide and 0.4m high. The earthworks have been partly disturbed by
tree roots and towards its southern end, a short section of the earthwork has
been levelled by a track, although traces of the ditch are likely to survive
here in buried form. To the south west, the earthwork fades out as the ground
slopes away. To the north east, the course of the linear boundary is marked by
a modern field boundary for a distance of about 360m, but as the earthworks
here have been significantly disturbed by rabbits and other modern activities,
this area is not included in the scheduling.
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

Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or
multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying between
less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features
visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The
evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that
their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although
they may have been re-used later.
The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were
constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries
in the landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of
their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious
associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those
groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance
for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age; all well
preserved examples will normally merit statutory protection.

The linear boundary on Stoke Down survives comparatively well, despite some
later disturbance, and will contain important archaeological and environmental
evidence relating to the construction and original function of the monument.
The linear boundary is one of a wide range of broadly contemporary monuments
situated in this area of the Downs, including flint mines and barrows,
providing evidence for the developing pattern of land use during the
prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

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