Ancient Monuments

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Anglo-Saxon barrow field 650m south west of Wick Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Ditchling, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9025 / 50°54'9"N

Longitude: -0.1192 / 0°7'9"W

OS Eastings: 532347.250617

OS Northings: 113135.796052

OS Grid: TQ323131

Mapcode National: GBR KPJ.6PN

Mapcode Global: FRA B6MQ.CDZ

Entry Name: Anglo-Saxon barrow field 650m south west of Wick Farm

Scheduled Date: 1 September 1967

Last Amended: 8 July 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014651

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27049

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Ditchling

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Ditchling, Streat and Westmeston

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a barrow field comprised of a group of at least five
roughly west-east aligned hlaews, or Anglo-Saxon burial mounds, situated on a
ridge of the Sussex Downs. An area of hummmocky ground which flanks the
easternmost hlaew is thought to represent the site of further, disturbed
burial mounds.
The hlaews are small, closely-spaced, roughly circular mounds c.8m-10m in
diameter and up to 0.4m high, each with a central hollow or showing other
signs of disturbance, the result of past, part excavation.
The next-to-easternmost mound was partly excavated in 1962, when it was found
to have been constructed over a rectangular grave c.2.5m long and c.0.9m wide,
cut into the underlying chalk bedrock. The grave contained the extended burial
of an adult male accompanied by a short iron sword, or scramasax.

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

Barrow fields are groups of between five and 300 closely-spaced hlaews, or
burial mounds, dating to the early medieval period. The usually circular
mounds, some of which are surrounded by an encircling ditch, were constructed
of earth and rubble and covered one or more inhumation burials. These were
deposited in west-east aligned, rectangular graves cut into the underlying
bedrock. Cremation burials, sometimes deposited in pottery urns, have also
been found. Many burials were furnished with accompanying grave goods,
including jewellery and weapons, and, at two sites, wooden ships were
discovered within large mounds. Most barrow fields were in use during the
pagan Anglo-Saxon period between the sixth and seventh centuries AD, although
barrows dating to the fifth and eight centuries AD have also been found.
The distribution of barrow fields is concentrated within south eastern
England, particularly in prominent locations on the Kent and Sussex Downs.
However, one Viking barrow field dating to the late ninth century AD is known
in Derbyshire, and both barrow fields containing known ship burials are
located near river estuaries in Suffolk.
Barrow fields are a rare monument type, with only around 40 examples known
nationally. They provide important and otherwise rare archaeological
information about the social structure, technological development and economic
oganisation of the people who constructed and used them. All positively
identified examples with significant surviving remains are considered worthy
of protection.

The barrow field 650m south west of Wick Farm survives well when compared with
similar sites elsewhere, and has been shown by part excavation to contain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and
the landscape in which it was constructed. Lying around 400m to the WSW is an
Anglo-Saxon hlaew. These monuments are broadly contemporary and their close
association provides evidence for the importance of this part of the downland
ridge for burial practices during the early medieval period.

Source: Historic England


source 2, RCHME, TQ 31 SW 11, (1934)

Source: Historic England

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