Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cross dyke 870m north west of Burton Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Kingston Deverill, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1411 / 51°8'27"N

Longitude: -2.2192 / 2°13'9"W

OS Eastings: 384757.827596

OS Northings: 138004.047796

OS Grid: ST847380

Mapcode National: GBR 1VX.HPY

Mapcode Global: VH97V.HL42

Entry Name: Cross dyke 870m north west of Burton Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 January 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019197

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31687

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Kingston Deverill

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: The Deverills and Horningsham

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a length of cross dyke situated 870m north west of
Burton Farm, on Cold Kitchen Hill, the eastern end of a ridge of Middle Chalk
to the north of the upper reaches of the Wylye valley. The cross dyke survives
as an earthwork 120m long running north east from the top of a coombe cut into
the south facing slope of the hill. Beyond this it has been reduced by
ploughing and is visible as a soilmark. The earthwork comprises a ditch 0.5m
deep and 4m wide flanked to the south by a bank 0.5m high and 4.5m wide.
The scheduling includes only the best preserved section of the cross dyke,
where it remains as an earthwork as the quality of surviving remains in the
levelled area is unclear. Other linear boundaries in the area are the subjects
of separate schedulings.
All fenceposts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 870m north west of Burton Farm is well preserved and is a good
example of this type of monument, providing an important insight into the
division of land in the later prehistoric period. It will contain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 253

Source: Historic England

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