Ancient Monuments

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Medieval enclosure west of Newmarket Plantation

A Scheduled Monument in Falmer, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8554 / 50°51'19"N

Longitude: -0.0617 / 0°3'42"W

OS Eastings: 536527.547591

OS Northings: 107997.792945

OS Grid: TQ365079

Mapcode National: GBR KQ5.974

Mapcode Global: FRA B6RV.3SF

Entry Name: Medieval enclosure W of Newmarket Plantation

Scheduled Date: 17 October 1978

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002206

English Heritage Legacy ID: ES 460

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Falmer

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Stanmer with Falmer, St Laurence

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


Stock enclosure on Loose Bottom, 1.2km south-east of Orchard Cottages.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 4 September 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a stock enclosure of probable medieval date, which survives as an earthwork denoted by a bank and ditch. It is situated at the foot of a steep north-west facing slope on a valley bottom near Newmarket Plantation in the South Downs. The valley sides rise steeply to the north-east, south-east and south-west.

The enclosure is curvilinear in form with an entrance in the north-west side. There are also small openings on the south-west and south-east sides, which may be the result of past damage or mutilation. The bank forming the enclosure is 3m wide and 0.4m high with an external ditch 3m wide and 0.4m deep.

In 1995, an archaeological survey of the area carried out by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME) identified a possible trench on the north side of the enclosure. This is likely to be the result of an unrecorded partial excavation in the past. Several sherds of Bronze Age pottery, as well as burnt flints and flint flakes, have been found in soil upcast from mole hills within the interior. This type of enclosure has traditionally been called a ‘valley-head entrenchment’. The location, at the foot of the valley, forms a natural driveway for corralling stock into the enclosure, which is likely to have been used in the medieval period to manage cattle or sheep.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Stock enclosures of medieval and later date provided winter shelter and corralling for beasts ranging over open pasture. In south east England, they are to be found in relatively remote regions located some distance from the farmstead with which they were associated. They vary in size and shape and reflect local building techniques, styles and materials. They usually survive as a level area surrounded by low banks flanked by construction ditches. Some enclosures would have been further protected by timber fences and gates and smaller examples may have been roofed. Surviving largely in downland areas of less intensive modern land use, medieval and post-medieval stock enclosures provide evidence for pastoral practices in south east England which have left few other traces in the landscape. As a relatively rare monument type, those examples which survive well as upstanding monuments and/or which are documented by part excavation or contemporary records, are considered to merit protection.

The stock enclosure on Loose Bottom survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to its construction and use, as well as the landscape in which it was built.

Source: Historic England


East Sussex HER MES1369. NMR TQ30NE12. PastScape 401712.,

Source: Historic England

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