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Itford Hill style settlement on Cock Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Patching, West Sussex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.8769 / 50°52'37"N

Longitude: -0.4531 / 0°27'11"W

OS Eastings: 508925.105698

OS Northings: 109744.7365

OS Grid: TQ089097

Mapcode National: GBR GK9.S9Z

Mapcode Global: FRA 96YS.79Q

Entry Name: Itford Hill style settlement on Cock Hill

Scheduled Date: 13 April 1977

Last Amended: 3 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015881

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29272

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Patching

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Findon, Clapham and Patching

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

Details

The monument includes an Itford Hill style settlement situated on a chalk hill
which forms part of the Sussex Downs. This takes the form of a small, north
west-south east aligned oval enclosure bounded by a ditch up to c.6m wide and
c.0.75m deep and a bank c.4m wide and up to c.0.5m high, the eastern side of
which has been partly levelled by modern ploughing. Access to the interior was
by way of a causewayed gap through the south eastern ramparts. Part excavation
of the enclosure between 1952-57 showed that it was constructed in, and
underwent at least one phase of redevelopment during, the Late Bronze Age
(tenth to eighth centuries BC). Traces of three timber round houses each c.20m
in diameter were discovered within the interior, and clay loom-weights found
in one suggested that it was used as a weaving shed. Other features revealed
by the excavation were a series of pits, several wooden structures interpreted
as lean-to buildings, and a pond which survives as a roughly circular
depression within the south eastern sector of the enclosure. Three
contemporary multiple cremation burials were found to have been deposited in
the ground beneath two of the houses and close to the enclosure entrance. The
excavation also discovered evidence for an earlier, unenclosed settlement
dating to the Middle Bronze Age beneath the Late Bronze Age enclosure.
The settlement was associated with a nearby field system which has been
levelled by modern ploughing and is therefore not included in the scheduling.
The modern fences which cross the monument are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath them 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

Itford Hill style settlements are small domestic settlements of one to three
households, usually covering an area of between 1ha and 3ha, comprising a
series of small banked compounds set back to back. The compounds are
frequently associated with tracks and hollow ways which link the settlements
to field systems, and round barrow cemeteries are often nearby. The
settlements date to the Late Bronze Age (tenth to eighth centuries BC).
Excavated examples have shown that the compounds usually contain circular
wooden buildings varying in diameter from 3m to 8m, with entrance porches.
Associated with these structures would have been a series of working areas and
fenced compounds; small ponds have also been found. Finds, including
loomweights and carbonised grain, provide evidence for the practice of a mixed
farming economy.
Itford Hill style settlements are found in southern England, principally in
the chalk downland of Sussex where Itford Hill itself is located. They are a
rare monument type, with less than 20 examples known nationally.

The Itford Hill style settlement on Cock Hill survives well and has been shown
by part excavation to contain archaeological and environmental evidence
relating to the construction and use of the monument. The settlement lies
c.740m to the north east of a similar settlement on New Barn Down, and Harrow
Hill flint mine and Martin Down style enclosure, and a dispersed round barrow
cemetery are situated nearby. These monuments are broadly contemporary, and
their close association will provide evidence for the relationship between
settlement, exchange and burial practices during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Ratcliffe-Densham, H B A, M M, , 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in An Anomalous Earthwork of the Late Bronze Age on Cock Hill, , Vol. 99, (1961), 78-101

Source: Historic England

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