Ancient Monuments

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Flint mines and part of a Romano-British trackway on Windover Hill, 180m ESE of The Long Man

A Scheduled Monument in Long Man, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8094 / 50°48'33"N

Longitude: 0.1904 / 0°11'25"E

OS Eastings: 554423.278585

OS Northings: 103384.084193

OS Grid: TQ544033

Mapcode National: GBR MTR.0ZL

Mapcode Global: FRA C69Y.L0F

Entry Name: Flint mines and part of a Romano-British trackway on Windover Hill, 180m ESE of The Long Man

Scheduled Date: 3 January 1973

Last Amended: 10 July 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014630

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27065

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Long Man

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Wilmington St Mary and St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes an area of prehistoric flint mines situated near the top
of the northern slope of a ridge of the Sussex Downs, and part of a later,
north west-south east aligned trackway which crosses the flint mines. This is
thought to date to the Romano-British period.
The flint mines are a roughly semicircular area of hummocky ground covering
c.0.65ha, made up of at least 12 roughly circular and irregular hollows up to
20m in diameter and surviving to a depth of up to 3m. These are the partly
infilled remains of pits dug into the ground to reach the underlying seams of
flint. The circular hollows are surrounded by overlapping spoil heaps up to
c.4m high. One of the hollows was partly excavated in 1971, when it was found
to contain a filling largely consisting of roughly cut chalk blocks. A
prehistoric flint hammerstone and two struck flint flakes were also
The Romano-British trackway crosses and partly overlies the southern half of
the area occupied by the flint mines. It takes the form of a narrow terrace
cut or eroded into the underlying chalk bedrock. The trackway continues beyond
the monument to the north west and south east along the ridge, and now forms
the route of the modern South Downs Way long distance footpath.
The modern fence which crosses the monument is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath it 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

Flint mines are found where, during Neolithic and Early Bronze Age times
(c.3500-1200 BC), nodules of flint were extracted from underground seams
within chalk deposits. There is no pattern or regular form to the arrangement
of mine sites as the shafts, pits or open-cast workings are closely related to
the underlying supplies of flint rather than an overall scheme of how the mine
should be organised. In general, however, the shafts, pits and spoil heaps are
closely packed together and sometimes even abut one another. In overall size,
flint mines range from single shafts and associated works covering less than
1ha, to large mines of several hundred shafts spread over an extensive area.
Flint mines provided high quality flint for implement manufacture in the
millennia before the widespread availability of metal; the discovery of
ceremonial deposits, including carved objects, in some shafts indicates the
importance ascribed to them by early prehistoric communities. The workings
were excavated by hand with antler picks and a selection of specialist bone,
antler, wood and flint tools. Extensive flint knapping floors, areas where the
mined flint was worked, are sometimes found within and around the mine area,
along with hearths and traces of timber buildings. Evidence of secondary uses
of abandoned flint mines is fairly common, and human burials dating from
Neolithic times onwards are regularly found in the upper fills of pits and
shafts. The hollows left in the tops of infilled shafts also provided suitable
areas for occupation long after the mines themselves had gone out of use.
The distribution of flint mines is largely dictated by the extent of the Upper
Chalk, which is the geological band in which seams of flint occur. Flint mines
are known in most areas of Upper Chalk outcrops and generally occur on the
tops of hills or ridges, or along their flanking slopes, from Norfolk to
Dorset. The earliest sites, dating to the Early and Middle Neolithic period,
are clustered on the Sussex Downs.
Flint mines are a rare monument type, with only around 20 examples known
nationally. One of relatively few classes of monuments dating to all phases of
the Neolithic period, they contain evidence relating to technology and work
organisation in the period and represent the source of the most commonly used
and widespread material available for making edged tools and implements. All
well-preserved examples are considered to be of national importance.

The flint mines on Windover Hill 180m ESE of The Long Man survive well and
have been shown by part excavation to contain archaeological evidence and
environmental remains relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed. The Windover Hill to Folkington Hill ridge supports a wide
range of funerary monuments, and a further, associated flint mine c.200m to
the west of the monument, dating to the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age.
The close association of these broadly contemporary monuments illustrates the
importance of the area for burial practices and the extraction of material for
implement manufacture, and provides evidence for the relationship between
these types of activity, during the prehistoric period. The later trackway
provides evidence for the continued use of the Downland ridge as a route of
communication into the Romano-British period.

Source: Historic England


EH file AA52772/1, Saunders, AD (PIAME), Ancient Monuments Record Form, (1972)
source 1, RCHME, TQ 50 SW 42, (1928)

Source: Historic England

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