|Although this is listed as a dyke (why is there no other option?) it is in fact a ditch as the name suggests and not just a small thing but a ditch which extends over 2 miles, though a little broken in places. The coordinates start in the west in 'The Valdoe' a small wood about a mile below The Trundle but it eventually peters out near Halnaker on Boxgrove Common as it meanders along the bottom of the South Downs. What it's original purpose was nobody seems to be in agreement over and research has suggested that it was a defence against the Saxon invaders of the 5th Century but more commonly it is believed to have been built in the Iron Age and was either a boundary marker or again a quite sturdy piece of defence work. A lot of the middle section is difficult to get a look at as it's mostly on private land and people are rather fond of guns in this neck of the woods. Judging by the state of the section in the Valdoe it's also pretty silted up, but I'm hoping to have a look at the sections in the east some time soon.
Posted by A R Cane
15th March 2011ce