Ancient Monuments

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The Calvary (mound)

A Scheduled Monument in Lewes, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8691 / 50°52'8"N

Longitude: 0.0105 / 0°0'37"E

OS Eastings: 541568.291229

OS Northings: 109658.367809

OS Grid: TQ415096

Mapcode National: GBR KQ2.HGJ

Mapcode Global: FRA B6XS.V8W

Entry Name: The Calvary (mound)

Scheduled Date: 24 February 1933

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002284

English Heritage Legacy ID: ES 55

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Lewes

Built-Up Area: Lewes

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Lewes St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


Post-medieval folly or garden feature, 35m south of Mountfield House.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 27 November 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 the remains of a post-medieval folly or garden feature traditionally known as the ‘Mount’ or ‘Calvary’, which survives as an earthwork and below-ground archaeological remains. It is situated on low, relatively flat ground of the floodplain of the River Ouse on the south side of Lewes. The monument is a turf-covered bowl-shaped earthen mound about 47m in diameter and 13m in height. Immediately east of the mound is a large sunken rectangular piece of ground surrounded by banks, traditionally known as the ‘dripping pan’, which is now occupied by a football ground. The mound is recorded in one documentary source as having been erected by one of the Earls of Dorset and formed of earth excavated from the adjacent ground. An area on the east side of the mound was partially excavated in 2006, which uncovered finds of late 16th century to early 18th century date. The mound is likely to be a post-medieval garden feature associated with the Priory of St Pancras, situated to the south-west. The monument is traditionally thought to have been a Norman motte or a salt working mound. However it lacks an outer ditch usually associated with a motte and is an unlikely location for a salt pan.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Gardens have a long history in England. The earliest recognised examples are associated with Roman villas, while during the Anglo-Saxon and medieval periods, herb gardens were planted, particularly in monasteries, for medicinal purposes. The major development in gardening took place in the late medieval and early post-medieval periods when the idea of the garden as a ‘pleasure ground’ developed. Earthen mounds (or mounts) were one common feature of post-medieval formal gardens. They were used as vantage points to view the house and gardens, or as the sites of ornate structures or follies. The mound 35m south of Mountfield House in Lewes is likely to form a post-medieval folly or feature of what was once a more extensive garden. It survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction and use of the mound.

Source: Historic England


East Sussex HER MES1655. NMR TQ40NW54. PastScape 406009.

Source: Historic England

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