Ancient Monuments

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Pair of bowl barrows and remains of a later post mill on Willingdon Hill, 610m north west of Further Plantation

A Scheduled Monument in Old Town, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.7868 / 50°47'12"N

Longitude: 0.2361 / 0°14'9"E

OS Eastings: 557712.762785

OS Northings: 100962.447095

OS Grid: TQ577009

Mapcode National: GBR MV0.LHD

Mapcode Global: FRA C7C0.KR9

Entry Name: Pair of bowl barrows and remains of a later post mill on Willingdon Hill, 610m north west of Further Plantation

Scheduled Date: 19 June 1967

Last Amended: 6 October 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019250

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20136

County: East Sussex

Electoral Ward/Division: Old Town

Built-Up Area: Eastbourne

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Willingdon St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a pair of bowl barrows aligned ENE-WSW, and the remains
of a later, post-medieval post mill, situated on the summit of a chalk hill on
the eastern edge of the South Downs. This location enjoys extensive views
across Eastbourne and the coastline beyond.
The north easterly barrow has a low circular mound up to 15m in diameter and
0.4m high. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material used to
construct the barrow was excavated. This has become infilled over the years
but survives as a buried feature around 2m wide.
Around 3m to the south west is the larger barrow of the pair which has a
circular mound measuring up to 25m in diameter and 1.2m high. The flat topped
mound has a large, and irregular, central hollow, indicating past, partial
excavation or reuse. The mound is surrounded by an infilled ditch which
survives as a buried feature around 3m wide. The 8m wide earthwork which
ascends the eastern side of the mound, is considered to represent the remains
of a trackway associated with reuse of the barrow as a windmill mound. The
trackway, which is flanked by two low, parallel banks, terminates at the
footpath around 21m to the east. Historical records and cartographic evidence
suggest that the hilltop was used as the site of a post mill in the 16th to
19th centuries, and that the last mill on Willingdon Hill was finally
destroyed by a storm in 1817.

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

Post mills were in use from the 12th century onwards and consisted of a
central vertical post about which the wooden superstructure of the mill
rotated. The central post was mounted on cross timbers which were stabilised
by being set into a mound. This mound might be newly built, but earlier mounds
were also frequently reused. No medieval examples of the wooden
superstructures survive today but the mounds, typically between 15m and 25m in
diameter, survive as field monuments.
The pair of bowl barrows and remains of a later post mill on Willingdon Hill
survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological remains and
environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it
was constructed. The evidence for later, industrial use of this prominent and
exposed location as the site for a windmill, demonstrates the importance of
the hilltop to the local communities, to fulfill a variety of needs over a
considerable period of time.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Barrows, , Vol. 75, (1934), 273
Toms, H S, 'Mill Fields Valley Entrenchments and Covered Way' in Eastbourne Natural History and Archaeology Society, , Vol. Vol 7, (1917), 53
Budgen, W, Sussex Notes and Queries, 1928,
Title: An Eye-Draught of the Ratton Estate
Source Date: 1775

Title: Land belonging to the Earl of Northampton
Source Date: 1760

Title: Map of Sussex - Ordnance Survey Old Series
Source Date: 1813

Title: Map of Sussex
Source Date: 1595

Title: Map of Sussex
Source Date: 1724

Source: Historic England

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