Ancient Monuments

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Medieval earthworks east and south east of St Mary's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Climping, Arun

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Latitude: 50.8147 / 50°48'52"N

Longitude: -0.5743 / 0°34'27"W

OS Eastings: 500532.9566

OS Northings: 102647.1885

OS Grid: TQ005026

Mapcode National: GBR FJK.ZK5

Mapcode Global: FRA 96PY.82J

Entry Name: Medieval earthworks E and SE of St Mary's Church

Scheduled Date: 5 February 1975

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005828

English Heritage Legacy ID: WS 424

County: Arun

Civil Parish: Climping

Built-Up Area: Ford

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Clymping St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


Deserted medieval village, 160m ESE of St Mary’s Church.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 3 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 deserted medieval village in two separate areas of protection surviving as earthworks and below-ground remains. It is situated on the flood plain of the River Arun at Church Farm, west of Littlehampton.

The earthworks include rectangular house platforms, depressions and banks up to 1.2m high. An area of flint metalling is considered to be a trackway associated with the village. A trial cutting has revealed brick and stone walling of buildings as well as medieval pottery sherds on the site. It is in close proximity to the parish church of St Mary’s and is associated with the reduced village of Climping. In 1999, an archaeological watching brief nearby at Church Farm Cottage recorded pits of medieval and post-medieval date, medieval pottery and animal remains.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The village, comprising a small group of houses, gardens, yards, streets, paddocks, often with a green, a manor and a church, and with a community devoted primarily to agriculture, was a significant component of the rural landscape in most areas of medieval England, much as it is today. Villages provided some services to the local community and acted as the main focal point of ecclesiastical, and often of manorial, administration within each parish. Although the sites of many of these villages have been occupied continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were abandoned throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. As a result over 2000 deserted medieval villages are recorded nationally. The reasons for desertion were varied but often reflected declining economic viability, changes in land use such as enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their abandonment these villages are frequently undisturbed by later occupation and contain well-preserved archaeological deposits. Because they are a common and long-lived monument type in most parts of England, they provide information on the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and regional farming economy over a long period of time.

The deserted medieval village, 160m ESE of St Mary’s Church survives well. It has been largely undisturbed and as such has a high degree of potential for archaeological investigation. It will contain below-ground archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction, use and occupation of the site and its relationship to the surrounding landscape.

Source: Historic England


West Sussex HER 2201 - MWS3371, 6946 - MWS6993. NMR TQ00SW55. PastScape 392891

Source: Historic England

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