Ancient Monuments

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Field system in Lamb Lea

A Scheduled Monument in Graffham, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9286 / 50°55'43"N

Longitude: -0.6975 / 0°41'50"W

OS Eastings: 491635.048859

OS Northings: 115161.585204

OS Grid: SU916151

Mapcode National: GBR DFQ.QGY

Mapcode Global: FRA 96FN.83X

Entry Name: Field system in Lamb Lea

Scheduled Date: 29 September 1969

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005820

English Heritage Legacy ID: WS 365

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Graffham

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: East Dean, Singleton and West Dean

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


Regular aggregate field system, 790m north-east of Postles Barn.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 6 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 a regular aggregate field system surviving as earthworks and below-ground remains. It is situated on south-facing slopes, forming ridges and hollows, north of Shooting Pond on the South Downs.

Several well-defined lynchets extend across the ridges on a WNW- ESE alignment, surviving to about 1.5m high and about 5m wide. Field banks representing traces of perpendicular sub-divisions up to 0.3m high are also visible. Ploughing and military activity have led to a decrease in definition of some of the lynchets in the past. Iron Age and Romano-British pottery and pieces of burnt clay have been found on the ground surface.

Further archaeological sites survive in the vicinity of this monument but are not included because they have not been formally assessed. Partial excavation to the north, near Green Road on the edge of Eastdean Wood, has uncovered the remains of a Roman farmstead or villa, which may have been associated with the field system. A Roman corn drying furnace was found part-covered by the remains of a timber-framed building with a solid floor on which were fragments of rotary and saddle querns.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Regular aggregate field systems date from the Bronze Age (2000-700 BC) to the end of the fifth century AD. They usually cover areas of up to 100ha and comprise a discrete block of fields orientated in roughly the same direction, with the field boundaries laid out along two axes set at right angles to one another. Individual fields generally fall within the 0.1ha-3.2ha range and can be square, rectangular, long and narrow, triangular or polygonal in shape. The field boundaries can take various forms (including drystone walls or reaves, orthostats, earth and rubble banks, pit alignments, ditches, fences and lynchets) and follow straight or sinuous courses. Component features common to most systems include entrances and trackways, and the settlements or farmsteads from which people utilised the fields over the years have been identified in some cases. These are usually situated close to or within the field system. The development of field systems is seen as a response to the competition for land which began during the later prehistoric period. The majority are thought to have been used mainly for crop production, evidenced by the common occurrence of lynchets resulting from frequent ploughing, although rotation may also have been practised in a mixed farming economy. They represent a coherent economic unit often utilised for long periods of time and can thus provide important information about developments in agricultural practices in a particular location and broader patterns of social, cultural and environmental change over several centuries. Those which survive well and/or which can be positively linked to associated settlements are considered to merit protection.

Despite some partial disturbance by ploughing and military activity in the past, the regular aggregate field system 790m north-east of Postles Barn survives well. The presence of Roman archaeological sites in the vicinity of the monument enhance its importance. The field system will contain archaeological information and environmental evidence relating to the field system and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


West Sussex HER 1531 - MWS3360. NMR SU91NW29, SU91NW28, SU91SW12. PastScape 249440, 249437, 249699.

Source: Historic England

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