Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Multiple ring-ditch at Mount Pleasant, Denton

A Scheduled Monument in Newhaven, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8045 / 50°48'16"N

Longitude: 0.0721 / 0°4'19"E

OS Eastings: 546101.648289

OS Northings: 102594.63205

OS Grid: TQ461025

Mapcode National: GBR LS8.F1M

Mapcode Global: FRA C61Z.1WP

Entry Name: Multiple ring-ditch at Mount Pleasant, Denton

Scheduled Date: 29 April 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012144

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12800

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Newhaven

Built-Up Area: Newhaven

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Denton with South Heighton and Tarring Neville

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


Situated on sloping ground just to the NW of the summit of Mount Pleasant,
Denton, are the ploughed remains of a circular multiple ring-ditch. The
monument includes three concentric ditches and the space within each of
them. The ditches were detected by aerial photography in 1969. The largest
of the circular ditches is some 50m in diameter, the middle one 30m and the
innermost one 20m in diameter. The ditches show up in ideal conditions as
darker rings in the chalk-rich soil.
Comparison with the similar excavated example at Irthlingborough in
Northamptonshire suggests that the remains are those of a funerary or other
ritual monument dating from the Late Neolithic period. One or more burial
pits are considered likely to survive at the centre of the monument.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Multiple ring-ditches are circular ditched enclosures which comprise several
circuits of ditches. They are ritual and/or funerary monuments dating to the
Later Neolithic or early Bronze Age periods; the few available radiocarbon
dates suggest that most were constructed between 2400 and 2000 BC. In some
cases the ditch surrounds a central burial in a pit, while in others there
is no burial but evidence instead of the deliberate placement of unusual or
exotic artefacts into the ground. The importance attached by the users of
this type of monument is shown by their frequent reuse over long periods of
time, reuse which often involved the cleaning out of existing ditches or the
addition of further circuits of ditch.
Multiple ring-ditches are rare nationally, but are distributed widely--
examples are known in Wales as well as the South Midlands and Central
Southern England. The potential in the example at Denton for yielding
evidence of changes both in burial practices and in a range of artefact
types, due to its likely longevity of use, remains considerable despite the
limited damage caused by agricultural activities.

Source: Historic England


15-FEB-1990 Finds not collected, Brown, A, 15-Feb-1990, (1990)
Ordnance Survey, Ordnance Survey AP 69:100:95, (1969)
SMR No. TQ 40 SE 55,

Source: Historic England

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