Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Pair of hlaews 150m south east of Chanctonbury Ring hillfort

A Scheduled Monument in Wiston, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8959 / 50°53'45"N

Longitude: -0.3794 / 0°22'45"W

OS Eastings: 514063.995461

OS Northings: 111965.675054

OS Grid: TQ140119

Mapcode National: GBR HLJ.LXD

Mapcode Global: FRA B63Q.S0K

Entry Name: Pair of hlaews 150m south east of Chanctonbury Ring hillfort

Scheduled Date: 1 May 1951

Last Amended: 18 November 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015118

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27095

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Wiston

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Wiston with Buncton

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a south west-north east aligned pair of early medieval
barrows or hlaews, situated on a ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs.
The south western hlaew has a roughly circular mound c.7m in diameter and
c.0.2m high, surrounded by a ditch from which material used to construct the
hlaew was excavated. This has become infilled over the years, but will survive
as a buried feature c.1m wide. The hlaew has been partly disturbed on its
north eastern side by use of a downland footpath which crosses the ridge at
this point. Lying around 5m to the north east, the second hlaew has an uneven
mound c.7m in diameter and up to 0.2m high, also surrounded by a buried quarry
ditch c.1m wide.

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

A hlaew is a burial monument of Anglo-Saxon or Viking date and comprising a
hemispherical mound of earth and redeposited bedrock constructed over a
primary burial or burials. These were usually inhumations, buried in a grave
cut into the subsoil beneath the mound, but cremations placed on the old
ground surface beneath the mound have also been found. Hlaews may occur
in pairs or in small groups; a few have accompanying flat graves. Constructed
during the pagan Saxon and Viking periods for individuals of high rank, they
served as visible and ostentatious markers of their social position. Some
were associated with territorial claims and appear to have been specifically
located to mark boundaries. They often contain objects which give information
on the range of technological skill and trading contacts of the period. Only
between 50 and 60 hlaews have been positively identified in England. As a
rare monument class all positively identified examples are considered worthy
of preservation.

Despite some disturbance by a downland path, the pair of hlaews 150m south
east of Chanctonbury Ring hillfort survive comparatively well, and will
contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the
monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The monument forms
part of a group of prehistoric, Roman and early medieval earthworks situated
on Chanctonbury Hill, including a further pair of hlaews, a hillfort, Romano-
Celtic temple, two cross dykes and a number of round barrows, which are the
subjects of separate schedulings. The close association of these monuments
will provide evidence for the changing relationships between ceremonial and
burial practices and land division in this area of downland over a period of
c.1,500 years.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Bedwin, O, 'Britannia' in Excavations a Chanctonbury Ring, Wiston, West Sussex, 1977, , Vol. 11, (1980), 173-231

Source: Historic England

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