The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Wolstonbury Cross Ridge Dyke


Nearest Town:Burgess Hill (6km NNE)
OS Ref (GB):   TQ286134 / Sheet: 198
Latitude:50° 54' 18.5" N
Longitude:   0° 10' 14.83" W

Added by danielspaniel

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This 'dyke' cuts across the southern spur neck of Wolstonbury Hill, and this morning I find myself wondering where the main point of access was (if one originally existed) on this linear earthwork. Could it be at the central kink in the dyke, where a round barrow now sits on the Northern bank, or the area where the modern track bisects the bank? I walk down the ditch to where the dyke peters out and the slope gets steeper. The date of construction remains unknown. It could relate to a late Bronze Age/ Early Iron Age period of cultivation. Or, it could represent a 'defensive outwork' to the (speculative) period of defensive remodelling of Enclosure 'C' on top of the hill. As yet, nobody knows. I turn back and follow the ditch up to the 'barrow'. danielspaniel Posted by danielspaniel
6th July 2005ce
Edited 6th July 2005ce


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This linear earthwork appears to be one of the later prehistoric linear boundaries recorded from the southern chalklands. What exactly their purpose was has regularly defied interpretation. They have variously been referred to as; roads, defensive outworks, covered ways, barriers, toll bars or drove ways, 'Celtic' fields, ranch boundaries or pastoral enclosures. Even precise terminology is difficult. (I am using 'Dyke' on TMA for want of a better site type, but please do not take this as an implication of function.) danielspaniel Posted by danielspaniel
6th July 2005ce
Edited 6th July 2005ce