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Group of three bowl barrows and an Anglo-Saxon mixed cemetery on Summer Down

A Scheduled Monument in Newtimber, West Sussex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.8853 / 50°53'7"N

Longitude: -0.1961 / 0°11'45"W

OS Eastings: 526989.058332

OS Northings: 111085.403195

OS Grid: TQ269110

Mapcode National: GBR JN8.K7V

Mapcode Global: FRA B6GR.RFV

Entry Name: Group of three bowl barrows and an Anglo-Saxon mixed cemetery on Summer Down

Scheduled Date: 27 January 1967

Last Amended: 18 October 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014952

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27079

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Newtimber

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Newtimber St John the Evangelist

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

Details

The monument includes a north east-south west aligned linear group of three
prehistoric bowl barrows and a later Anglo-Saxon cremation and inhumation
cemetery, situated on a chalk spur which forms part of the Sussex Downs.
The north easternmost barrow of the group has a roughly circular mound c.11.5m
in diameter and up to 0.6m high. The mound has a central, cross-shaped
depression representing the cross timbers of a later post mill which utilised
the earlier barrow. The mound is flanked on its south western side by a ditch
up to 2m wide and c.0.3m deep, resulting from the rotation of the wheeled pole
by which the direction of the windmill was controlled.
Situated around 24m to the south west, the central barrow of the group has a
mound c.23.5m in diameter and up to 1.2m high. This also shows signs of reuse
as a post mill in the form of a cruciform depression and flanking by a south
westerly ditch.
The south westernmost barrow lies a further c.38m along the ridge and has a
circular mound c.16m in diameter and c.1.3m high, surrounded by a ditch from
which material used to construct the barrow was excavated. This has become
infilled over the years but will survive as a buried feature c.2m wide.
The later cemetery was indicated by the discovery in 1912 of two human
cremations contained within pottery urns in the face of the modern chalk pit
which lies between the two south westernmost barrows. These have been dated to
the early Anglo-Saxon period (c.AD 450-AD 700). Records also suggest that
the construction of the modern road on the north western edge of the monument
during the early years of the 20th century uncovered at least one Anglo-Saxon
inhumation burial accompanied by an iron spearhead. Further contemporary
burials will survive in the areas between and around the earlier barrows.
The surface of the modern road, the fences and gates and the modern roadside
banks which cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
protection.

Beginning in the fifth century AD, there is evidence from distinctive burials
and cemeteries, new settlements and new forms of pottery and metalwork, of the
immigration into Britain of settlers from northern Europe, bringing with them
new religious beliefs. Although some earlier Roman settlements and cemeteries
continued in use, the native Britons rapidly adopted many of the cultural
practices of the new settlers and it soon becomes difficult to distinguish
them in the archaeological record. Pagan Anglo-Saxon cemeteries date to the
years before the adoption of Christianity during the late sixth and seventh
centuries AD. Burial practices included both inhumation and cremation, with
the predominant inhumation ritual involving burial, occasionally in coffins,
within a rectangular pit. Cremation burials saw the placing of previously
burnt remains in containers, usually pottery urns, which were then buried in
small pits. The bodies were often accompanied by grave goods, including
jewellery and weapons, and sometimes by the remains of animals. Cemeteries
vary in size, the largest being known to contain several thousand burials, and
some examples were in use for up to 300 years. Anglo-Saxon cemeteries
represent one of our principal sources of archaeological evidence for the
early Anglo-Saxon period, providing information about population, social
structure and ideology. All surviving examples, other than those which have
been heavily disturbed, are considered worthy of protection.
The bowl barrows and Anglo-Saxon cemetery on Summer Down survive well, despite
some disturbance by later road building and quarrying, which has uncovered
archaeological remains relating to the construction and use of the monument.
The later reuse of two of the barrows as post mill mounds corroborates
documentary evidence which suggests that many windmills were sited in this
area of downland during the medieval and post-medieval periods.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
ref 3, RCHME, TQ 21 SE 10, (1934)

Source: Historic England

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