Ancient Monuments

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Dalesdown Wood earthworks

A Scheduled Monument in Houghton, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8784 / 50°52'42"N

Longitude: -0.5826 / 0°34'57"W

OS Eastings: 499817.736083

OS Northings: 109722.665058

OS Grid: SU998097

Mapcode National: GBR FHS.X49

Mapcode Global: FRA 96NS.BVM

Entry Name: Dalesdown Wood earthworks

Scheduled Date: 24 February 1933

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005893

English Heritage Legacy ID: WS 43

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Houghton

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Bury St John the Evangelist with Houghton St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


Earthworks in Dalesdown Wood, 885m south-east of Orchard Cottage

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17/10/14. This 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 an area of earthworks within Dalesdown Wood. It is situated on the slopes of a ridge known as Rewell Hill, east of Arundel Park. The earthworks include a complex series of banks and ditches, forming enclosures and trackways in an area over 0.3 sq km in size. It is approached by two parallel trackways, between two banks, from the north-east. The earthworks, south and west of the trackway, form a series of contiguous sub-rectangular or irregular enclosures denoted by banks and ditches. A number of pits have also been identified.

In 1919, part of the site was partially excavated, which recovered three sherds of Iron Age pottery of La Tene III type, as well as a piece of Roman amphora. In 1979, two fragments of a Bronze Age axe or palstave and lumps of ‘melted scrap’ were found on Rewell Hill with a metal detector. It is considered that the earthworks are a prehistoric settlement, although it has also been proposed that the earthworks were associated with medieval animal husbandry linked to Arundel Park.

Further archaeological remains survive within the vicinity of this monument. Some such as the nearby ‘War Dyke entrenchment’ are scheduled, but others are not because they have not been formally assessed.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The earthworks in Dalesdown Wood, 885m south-east of Orchard Cottage survive well. They have been relatively undisturbed and are located in an area with little modern development. As such they hold a very high degree of potential for further archaeological investigation. They will contain important archaeological and environmental information relating to their construction and function, as well as to the landscape in which they were constructed. Despite the uncertainty concerning their identification it is clear that the earthworks are unusual in form and for this reason must be considered of archaeological interest in a national context. The surrounding area has many archaeological features, which adds to the group value of the monument.

Source: Historic England


West Sussex HER 1302 - MWS5869, 1303 - MWS2282, 1304 - MWS2283 NMR SU90NE2. PastScape 248855.

Source: Historic England

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