Bronze Age small enclosed settlement near Horseshoe Plantation, 496m SSW of Streathill Farm.
Reasons for Designation
Small enclosed settlements dating from the Middle Bronze Age are often associated with earlier field systems and are known on some sites to have replaced earlier unenclosed settlements. Enclosures of both sub-rectangular and curvilinear plan are known; the sites are wholly or partly surrounded by a ditch, bank or palisade, or by a combination or succession of all three.
Where excavated, sites have usually been found to contain a small group of domestic buildings sufficient for a single or extended family group, although a few larger enclosures are known. Evidence of a succession of buildings has been found on some sites. The buildings are usually circular in plan but occasional rectangular structures are known. Both types of building would have provided a combination of living accommodation and storage or working areas. Storage pits have been recorded inside buildings on some sites. In addition to pottery and worked flint, large quantities of burnt stone and metal working debris have been found in some enclosures.
Although the precise figure is not known, many small enclosed settlements are located on the chalk downland of southern England. As a class they are integral to understanding Bronze Age settlement and land use strategies, while their often close proximity to the numerous burial monuments in the area will provide insights into the relationship between secular and ceremonial activity during the Middle Bronze Age.
A small number of small enclosed settlements survive on downland as visible earthworks; the majority, however, occur in areas of more intensive cultivation and survive in buried form, visible only from the air as soil marks and crop marks. All examples with visible earthworks, and those in buried form which retain significant surviving remains, are considered to be of national importance.
The Bronze Age enclosed settlement near Horseshoe Plantation survives well and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. Its importance is enhanced through its association with the nearby Ilford Hill style Late Bronze Age settlement at Plumpton Plain and round barrows on the northern edge of the South Downs, which form separate Scheduled Monuments. Together these monuments provide a valuable source of information concerning the nature of Bronze Age occupation and land use as well as the relationship between secular and ceremonial activity on this part of the South Downs.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 27 November 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a small enclosed settlement of probable Late Bronze Age date surviving as earthworks, denoted by a bank, and buried archaeological remains. It is situated on an east facing slope, north of Horseshoe Plantation on chalk downland at the northern edge of the South Downs. The enclosure is denoted by a near circular bank, approximately 27.5m in diameter with an average height of about 0.3m, created from the upcast soil of the sunken enclosed area. The interior has a shallow circular depression and a pit believed to be the site of a hut. Flint flakes and coarse hand-made Bronze Age type pottery have been found on the site.
The monument is likely to be contemporary, and associated with the Ilford Hill style Late Bronze Age settlement at Plumpton Plain, a separate Scheduled Monument 800m to the north-east. A considerable number of Bronze Age round barrows lie along the northern ridge of the South Downs, under 1km north of the settlement, and are also likely to be associated with the monument.