Ancient Monuments

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Neolithic causewayed enclosure on Combe Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Willingdon and Jevington, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.7981 / 50°47'53"N

Longitude: 0.2334 / 0°14'0"E

OS Eastings: 557487.34481

OS Northings: 102217.177304

OS Grid: TQ574022

Mapcode National: GBR MTS.ZRT

Mapcode Global: FRA C6CZ.JRX

Entry Name: Neolithic causewayed enclosure on Combe Hill

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 4 June 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012497

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12874

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Willingdon and Jevington

Built-Up Area: Eastbourne

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Jevington St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes the banks, ditches, causeways and internal area of a
Neolithic enclosure situated on a saddle of ground between the two summits of
Combe Hill. The monument takes the form of a double circuit of ditch segments
of lengths between 10m and 35m, each with an earthen bank on its inner edge
and each separated from the next ditch by a causeway of undisturbed chalk.
The inner circuit encloses an area of some 1.1 ha. It does not appear to be
complete, however, since the slope on the north side is very steep and shows
no evidence on the surface of earthworks. The outer ditch survives as
earthworks to the east and west of the inner circuit but there is no surface
indication of an outer circuit of ditches on the north or south sides where
the ground again slopes significantly. The banks survive to a maximum height
of 0.8m above ground level, the ditches to a depth of 0.5m below it.
Partial excavation in 1949 recovered confirmatory evidence of the Neolithic
date of the enclosure in the form of stone tools and pottery.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 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.

Despite the limited disturbance caused by partial excavation, the causewayed
enclosure on Combe Hill survives well and holds considerable potential for the
recovery of evidence of the nature and duration of its use and of the
environment in which it was constructed. As a focus for the siting of later
monuments of Bronze Age date, the monument illustrates the long-lasting
significance of the sites of causewayed enclosures in the development of the
built landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Drewett, P, Rudling, D, Gardner, M, The South East to 1000, (1989)
Musson, C, 'Sussex Arch Collections' in Sussex Arch Collections, , Vol. 89, (1950)

Source: Historic England

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