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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 393296

Hob Uid: 393296
Location :
West Sussex
Grid Ref : TQ0000010300
Summary : `War Dyke' - U poss IA
More information : (TQ 013 107 - 000 103) Earthwork, Earthworks (NR). (1)

An impressive earthwork, traditionally named the 'War Ditch' or 'War Dyke'(3 favouring the latter), extending from the Arun to higher ground about 3/4 mile to the west, and becoming double at its west end along the 400/4350 ft contour. See Map Diagram.

Its general form is a bank with two side ditches where the ground is more or less level, but bank and single ditch (on the uphill side) along the flanks of slopes. It falls into the 'Covered Way' category of earthworks, though it is unusually massive ('Covered Way' is the Curwen term for travelling bank-and-ditch features thought to be prehistoric communication lines). It connects with various minor linear features, hollow-ways, terraces etc, supposed by both the Curwens and Allcroft to be prehistoric.(2-3)

The War Dyke (this name is still used locally) runs generally along the top of steep north-facing slopes, and makes full use of natural defensive features. The east part is in cleared woodland and the west under dense afforestation. Its form is as described by Allcroft and the Curwens.

Some 40.0m north of the main work, west of the A284 road where the north-facing slopes are less steep, is a supplementary earthwork of similar character; this fades on a series of terrace-ways at TQ 0003 1039, though it may have continued westward. Between the two linear features is another scarped ditch with lower bank, at TQ 0033 1052. The complex is mutilated by roads, trackways and quarrying. A hollow-way at TQ 0027 1048 may be on the site of an original passage gap. At TQ 0052 1044 the Dyke cuts, and apparently overlies, an earthwork comprising a bank with ditch on the west (uphill) side; this extends for c 80.0m southward before fading into previously ploughed land - possibly a terrace-way, possibly the remains of a cross ridge dyke.

The size and position of the War Dyke and the fact that it possess supplementary works suggest a more strongly defensive purpose than that of the ordinary cross-ridge dyke. It bears a resemblance to another east-west running work some 2 1/2 kilometres to the south-west (SU 90 NE 3), and also to the Chichester Dykes (Lin 34) which in part at least seem to have been Iron Age. Surveyed at 1/2500. (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1962
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Source Number : 2
Source details : SxAC 59 1918 35,40 (E & E C Curwen)
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Source Number : 3
Source details : SxAC 63 1922 54-85 (A Hadrian Allcroft)
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 NKB 18-MAY-72
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Source : Field report on TQ 01 SW 48 - 18-MAY-1972
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Iron Age
Display Date : Iron Age
Monument End Date : 43
Monument Start Date : -800
Monument Type : Dyke (Defence)
Evidence :

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WS 330
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 01 SW 48
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, WAR DYKE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1930-01-01
End Date : 1930-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TQ 01 SW 48
Start Date : 1972-05-18
End Date : 1972-05-18