Ancient Monuments

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Barkhale Camp causewayed enclosure

A Scheduled Monument in Bignor, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9048 / 50°54'17"N

Longitude: -0.6137 / 0°36'49"W

OS Eastings: 497570.858975

OS Northings: 112613.756171

OS Grid: SU975126

Mapcode National: GBR FHK.7MR

Mapcode Global: FRA 96LQ.4QY

Entry Name: Barkhale Camp causewayed enclosure

Scheduled Date: 7 April 1967

Last Amended: 21 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007880

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20194

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Bignor

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex


The monument includes a Neolithic causewayed enclosure situated on a gentle
south-facing slope between the two summits of Bignor Hill.
The enclosure is defined by a low bank and outer ditch, the ditch being
interrupted by causeways spaced at regular intervals, a characteristic of this
type of monument. The area enclosed is 3ha and has maximum dimensions of 220m
from north to south and 150m from east to west. The bank survives to a height
of 0.5m and is 10m wide. The ditch has become partially infilled over the
years but survives up to 4m wide in sections between 10m and 30m long. The
site was first surveyed in 1930 and excavations were undertaken in 1958-61 and
1978. Trenches were dug to investigate the bank and ditch as well as the
interior of the enclosure. Neolithic pottery and flint tools were discovered
confirming that the enclosure was occupied during the Neolithic period. Some
pottery dating to later periods was also found.
Excluded from the scheduling are all fences and fence posts, although the
ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Between 50 and 70 causewayed enclosures are recorded nationally, mainly in
southern and eastern England. They were constructed over a period of some 500
years during the middle part of the Neolithic period (c.3000-2400 BC) but also
continued in use into later periods. They vary considerably in size (from 2 to
70 acres) and were apparently used for a variety of functions, including
settlement, defence, and ceremonial and funerary purposes. However, all
comprise a roughly circular to ovoid area bounded by one or more concentric
rings of banks and ditches. The ditches, from which the monument class derives
its name, were formed of a series of elongated pits punctuated by unexcavated
causeways. Causewayed enclosures are amongst the earliest field monuments to
survive as recognisable features in the modern landscape and are one of the
few known Neolithic monument types. Due to their rarity, their wide diversity
of plan, and their considerable age, all causewayed enclosures are considered
to be nationally important.

Barkhale Camp survives well as one of a series of five causewayed enclosures
situated along the length of the Sussex Downs. Partial excavation of the
enclosure on at least two separate occasions has demonstrated the extent to
which both archaeological and environmental evidence survives relating to the
construction and use of the monument and the nature of the contemporary

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Leach, P E, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Exc. of Neo. Causewayed Enclosure On Barkhale Down, , Vol. 121, (1983), 11-30

Source: Historic England

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