Ancient Monuments

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Chelwood Gate Enclosure

A Scheduled Monument in Danehill, East Sussex

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Latitude: 51.0599 / 51°3'35"N

Longitude: 0.0154 / 0°0'55"E

OS Eastings: 541333.254451

OS Northings: 130886.159361

OS Grid: TQ413308

Mapcode National: GBR KMR.JQF

Mapcode Global: FRA B6X9.XHG

Entry Name: Chelwood Gate Enclosure

Scheduled Date: 24 February 2015

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1423862

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Danehill

Built-Up Area: Chelwood Gate

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Nutley St James the Less

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


A Late Iron Age enclosure, and associated earthworks, the latter perhaps part of a boundary feature with which the enclosure may be integrated.

Source: Historic England


The partially-excavated earthworks of a Late Iron Age enclosure, and associated earthworks, the latter perhaps part of a boundary feature with which the enclosure may be integrated.

The monument is located on a gentle SW-facing spur at the W edge of Ashdown Forest on the High Weald. It occupies an area of open and unimproved heathland covered with heather, bracken and gorse. The archaeological evidence suggests two principal phases of Iron Age occupation at the site: a sub-rectangular enclosure delineated by a palisade, which in turn was superseded by a bank and ditch, possibly integrated with a linear feature which continues to the SW. Early aerial photographs indicate that this feature continues some 165m to the SW before curving to the SE. The linear bank and ditch may represent an associated boundary feature with which the enclosure may be integrated. However only the part of this feature which is adjacent to the enclosure is included in the scheduling. A disused trackway bisects the earthwork N-S, cutting its N and SW extents. To the W is a band of woodland and a track runs alongside the enclosure to the E.

The sub-rectangular enclosure measures around 87m from NE to SW, by 67m transversely and encloses 0.31ha. It is provided with five openings or entrances. The interior is raised approximately 0.6m above the surrounding ground level and is surrounded by a bank up to 1.3m in height with traces of an external ditch. Within the enclosure was excavated the curved gulley and internal post-holes of a round house of approximately 10m diameter. Running from the SW entrance is a bank and ditch, a short section of which is included in the scheduling.

EXTENT OF SCHEDULING: the scheduling is intended to protect the known extent of the buried archaeological evidence and upstanding earthworks relating to the Iron Age enclosure at Chelwood Gate. A portion of the linear bank and ditch which runs SW from the SW entrance of the enclosure is included within the scheduling to preserve its relationship with the enclosure.

EXCLUSIONS: all fences, fenceposts and gates are excluded from the scheduling, together with all modern paths and tracks. The ground beneath all these items is, however, included.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The enclosed settlement at Chelwood Gate is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Rarity / representativity: it is a relatively rare survival of the Iron Age settlement and cultivation of the High Weald, then densely wooded and sparsely populated;

* Group value: Chelwood Gate forms an extended group with three scheduled Iron Age monuments, and is of importance in understanding the nature and organisation of land use in the area;

* Survival / condition: of upstanding earthworks and archaeological deposits which remain relatively untouched by later activity, and represent a comparatively rare survival in a national context;

* Potential: the site contains buried archaeological and environmental deposits which have the potential to provide valuable evidence for the Iron Age occupation of the High Weald.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Turner, E., 'Ashdown Forest' in Sussex Archaeological Collections, , Vol. 14, (1862), pp.60-61
Aerial photograph dated 1 June 1930, English Heritage Archive, ref AFL_11997_S3678
Butler, C. 2008 An Archaeological Survey of Ashdown Forest, East Sussex
East Sussex County Council HER: monument full report, number MES4555.
Wickenden, N., 1986, ‘Excavations at Chelwood Gate: interim report’, Sussex Archaeological Society Newsletter, vol. 48, p.476.
Wickenden, N., 1987, ‘Chelwood Gate’ [second interim report], in Sussex Archaeological Society Newsletter, vol. 52, p.10.
Wickenden, N., 1988, ‘Excavations at Chelwood Gate: final interim report’, Sussex Archaeological Society Newsletter, vol. 54 (1988), p.11.

Source: Historic England

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