Ancient Monuments

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Mesolithic site west of Abinger Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Abinger, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.2012 / 51°12'4"N

Longitude: -0.4101 / 0°24'36"W

OS Eastings: 511172.542234

OS Northings: 145865.180508

OS Grid: TQ111458

Mapcode National: GBR GFG.R3J

Mapcode Global: VHFVX.V21H

Entry Name: Mesolithic site W of Abinger Manor

Scheduled Date: 21 February 1978

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005927

English Heritage Legacy ID: SU 169

County: Surrey

Civil Parish: Abinger

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Abinger

Church of England Diocese: Guildford


Mesolithic pit-dwelling, 230m south-west of Abinger Manor.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 11 December 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 Mesolithic pit-dwelling situated on a gentle south-west facing slope of Greensand, south of Tillingbourne river. The pit-dwelling is preserved in an excavated state inside a modern purpose-built hut. It measures approximately 4.5m north-west to south-east by 2.5m north-east to south-west and is 1m deep. There are two post holes at the west end of the pit and two hearths located outside the pit, one to the north and another to the south. The site was partially excavated in 1950, which recovered over 6500 flints from the pit and its immediate surroundings. These have been identified as a primitive microlithic assemblage with elements of the Tardenoisian Culture, which are likely to be earlier and probably ancestral to the Horsham Culture found elsewhere in Surrey as well as Sussex and Kent.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The Mesolithic pit-dwelling, 230m south-west of Abinger Manor is a rare and highly significant site of Mesolithic occupation that has been shown by excavation to contain a considerable microlithic assemblage. The pit-dwelling survives well and represents one of the oldest known and preserved man-made dwellings in Britain. Similar pit-dwellings have been found in Surrey at Farnham and in East Sussex at Selmeston. They are thought to represent sites of semi-permanent occupation, perhaps as winter accommodation, where huts were erected over shallow pits. The area in the vicinity of the Abinger site has a high degree of potential for further archaeological investigation. On the basis of what is known about Mesolithic pit-dwellings it is possible that other pits will survive nearby. The microlithic assemblage found on the site is more primitive and possibly ancestral to those of the Horsham Culture (c7000-6000 BC) found elsewhere in Surrey. As such it represents an important evolution in the development of the Prehistoric flint industry and adds additional importance and significance to the site.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Leakey, L S B, 'Preliminary excavations of a Mesolithic site at Abinger Common, Surrey' in Research Papers of the Surrey Archaeological Society , , Vol. 3, (1951), 1-44
: Surrey HER 52. NMR TQ14NW22. PastScape 397009

Source: Historic England

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