Ancient Monuments

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Oval barrow 775m south of Plumpton Place on Plumpton Plain

A Scheduled Monument in Plumpton, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8975 / 50°53'50"N

Longitude: -0.0681 / 0°4'5"W

OS Eastings: 535949.930895

OS Northings: 112662.850908

OS Grid: TQ359126

Mapcode National: GBR KPL.MKZ

Mapcode Global: FRA B6RQ.M9R

Entry Name: Oval barrow 775m south of Plumpton Place on Plumpton Plain

Scheduled Date: 29 April 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012625

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12790

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Plumpton

Built-Up Area: Plumpton

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Plumpton with East Chiltington-cum-Novington

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The easternmost of three closely-spaced prehistoric burial mounds on the crest
of Plumpton Plain, this monument is easily distinguished by its elongated low
earthen mound in contrast to the round mounds of its neighbours. It is an
oval barrow and dates from the Neolithic period. The mound has a surrounding
ditch which forms an integral part of the monument and is included in the
The earthen mound, orientated east-west, is 28m in length, 10m in width and
stands to a height of 0.5m above the general ground level. The surrounding
ditch is particularly visible on the southern side where it measures 2m across
and 0.4m in depth. The ditch can be traced around both ends of the mound and
is punctuated by causeways across the ditch at the south-east and south-west
corners. It is considered to continue around the northern side of the mound,
although erosion has filled in this side of the ditch completely. The ditch
would have provided the earth and chalk with which the mound was constructed.

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

Oval barrows are funerary and ceremonial monuments of the Early to Middle
Neolithic periods, with the majority of dated monuments belonging to the later
part of the range. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds of
roughly elliptical plan, usually delimited by quarry ditches. These ditches
can vary from paired "banana-shaped" ditches flanking the mound to "U-shaped"
or unbroken oval ditches nearly or wholly encircling it. Along with the long
barrows, oval barrows represent the burial places of Britain's early farming
communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving
visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, oval barrows have
produced two distinct types of burial rite: communal burials of groups of
individuals, including adults and children, laid directly on the ground
surface before the barrow was built; and burials of one or two adults interred
in a grave pit centrally placed beneath the barrow mound. Certain sites
provide evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow
and, consequently, it is probable that they may have acted as important ritual
sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Similarly, as
the filling of the ditches around oval barrows often contains deliberately
placed deposits of pottery, flintwork and bone, periodic ceremonial activity
may have taken place at the barrow subsequent to its construction. Oval
barrows are very rare nationally, with less than 50 recorded examples in
England. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as
earthworks, and due to their rarity, their considerable age and their
longevity as a monument type, all oval barrows are considered to be nationally

Despite having been reduced in height by agricultural activities and by
erosion, the barrow still has considerable archaeological potential since the
primary burial pit, the old ground surface beneath the mound and the flanking
ditches survive undisturbed by the plough and therefore retain evidence of the
manner and duration of use of the monument, and of the environment in which it
was created.

Source: Historic England


TQ 31 SE 13 (Example A),

Source: Historic England

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