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Itford Hill style settlement and an Anglo-Saxon barrow field at New Barn Down, 850m north west of Myrtle Grove Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Patching, West Sussex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.8712 / 50°52'16"N

Longitude: -0.4603 / 0°27'37"W

OS Eastings: 508432.36054

OS Northings: 109092.70379

OS Grid: TQ084090

Mapcode National: GBR GKG.BFS

Mapcode Global: FRA 96XS.Y6N

Entry Name: Itford Hill style settlement and an Anglo-Saxon barrow field at New Barn Down, 850m north west of Myrtle Grove Farm

Scheduled Date: 4 October 1976

Last Amended: 12 June 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017446

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29273

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, part of its associated
field system and a later barrow field dating to the early medieval period,
situated on the southern slope of a chalk hill which forms part of the Sussex
Downs.
The Itford Hill style settlement, most of which has been levelled by
modern ploughing, survives mainly in the form of buried features visible as
crop marks on aerial photographs. The focus of the settlement lies in the
northern part of the monument and is represented by a sub-oval, east-west
aligned enclosure measuring c.67m by c.40m. The enclosure was partly excavated
in 1933 when its northern side was found to have been bounded by a bank and
surrounding ditch, and its southern side by a low bank and stockade. Traces of
six wooden round houses were discovered within the interior, along with
fragments of pottery which have been dated to the Late Bronze Age (tenth to
eighth centuries BC). Leading from the north western corner of the enclosure
is a trackway of the same period which runs westwards for a distance of c.150m
before turning southwards downslope, where it is visible on aerial photographs
for a further c.400m. Two associated sub-oval enclosures lie to the north of
the main enclosure, and the bank and ditch of the most northerly of these
survive in the form of low earthworks, partly disturbed to the north west by a
modern track. In the areas between and around the enclosures are traces of
some of the small, sub-square fields of the farmland which supported the
settlement.
The presence of an earlier settlement dating to the Neolithic period
(3500-2000 BC) is indicated by sherds of Windmill Hill style pottery and a
flint axe head found during the investigations within a small pit situated
c.130m south of the main Bronze Age enclosure.
The later barrow field overlies the Bronze Age fields within the eastern part
of the monument. Records suggest the presence of at least 16 circular burial
mounds, now levelled by modern ploughing. Two of these underwent
archaeological investigation in 1933 and were found to have been constructed
over rectangular, east-west aligned graves containing extended inhumation
burials dating to the Middle Anglo-Saxon period (AD 600-800). One of the
individuals was identified as a young adult male buried with a scramasax
knife. Further, unmarked graves and associated features can be expected to
survive in the areas between and around the barrows.
The modern surface of the road and all telegraph poles and fences 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.

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.

Barrow fields are groups of between five and 300 closely-spaced 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
east-west 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 eighth 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 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
organisation of the people who constructed and used them. All positively
identified examples with significant surviving remains are considered worthy
of protection.
Despite disturbance by modern cultivation, the Itford Hill style settlement
and Anglo-Saxon barrow field on New Barn Down survive comparatively well, and
part excavation has shown that the monument will retain archaeological and
environmental evidence relating to the human use of this area of downland over
a period of c.5000 years. The settlement lies c.740m to the south west of a
similar Late Bronze Age settlement on Cock Hill, 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
Curwen, E C, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in A LBA Farm And A NL Pit Dwelling On New Barn Down, Clapham, (1934), 136-170
Curwen, E C, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in A LBA Farm And A NL Pit Dwelling On New Barn Down, Clapham, (1934), 136-170

Source: Historic England

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