Stock enclosure at Bible Bottom, 1.1km ENE of Lewes Golf Course Club House


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
East Sussex
Lewes (District Authority)
East Sussex
Lewes (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
TQ 43715 10122

Reasons for Designation

Stock enclosures of medieval and later date provided winter shelter and corralling for beasts ranging over open pasture. In south east England, they are to be found in relatively remote regions located some distance from the farmstead with which they were associated. They vary in size and shape and reflect local building techniques, styles and materials. They usually survive as a level area surrounded by low banks flanked by construction ditches. Some enclosures would have been further protected by timber fences and gates and smaller examples may have been roofed. Surviving largely in downland areas of less intensive modern land use, medieval and post-medieval stock enclosures provide evidence for pastoral practices in south east England which have left few other traces in the landscape. As a relatively rare monument type, those examples which survive well as upstanding monuments and/or which are documented by part excavation or contemporary records, are considered to merit protection. Although partly levelled by modern ploughing in the past, the stock enclosure at Bible Bottom survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction and original function of the monument.


The monument includes a medieval stock enclosure, which survives as an earthwork, denoted by a bank and ditch, and below-ground remains. It is situated in a valley bottom known as 'Bible Bottom' on chalk downlands at the northern edge of the South Downs. The valley sides rise steeply to the north-west, north-east and east. The enclosure is rectangular in shape with rounded corners. It was traditionally known as 'The Devil's Book' and more recently as 'The Bible' given its appearance, which resembles an open book. It is orientated north-east to south-west and measures approximately 98m by 62m. The shorter north-east and south-west sides consist of banks, between 4m and 4.5m wide and 0.1m high, with traces of an outside ditch. These are broken centrally by a division or trackway. The north-west side consists of a bank, 4.5m across and 0.2m high, also with a trace of an outside ditch. The south-west side of similar length is formed by a ditch up to 1m in depth. A possible division in the south-eastern half of the enclosure has been recognised by crop marks on aerial photographs. The location of the earthwork, at the foot of the valley, forms a natural driveway for corralling stock into the enclosure. The enclosure shows similarities in form to another such site at Faulkner's Bottom on the South Downs, which is also a Scheduled Monument (ES53). The monument excludes all modern fences and fence posts, gates and gate posts but the ground beneath these features is included.

Sources: East Sussex HER MES1596. NMR TQ41SW14. PastScape 406540.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
ES 57
Legacy System:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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