Medieval settlement site on eastern side of Saxon Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1005568

Date first listed: 25-Apr-1975


Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement site on eastern side of Saxon Down
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: East Sussex

District: Lewes (District Authority)

Parish: Glynde

County: East Sussex

District: Lewes (District Authority)

Parish: Ringmer

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 44624 10527


Quadrilateral enclosure near Saxon Down, 650m south of New Barn.

Reasons for Designation

Enclosures are man-made works which can date from the Neolithic to the Post Medieval period. They are usually constructed as a means of protection or demarcation whether for animals or humans and are commonly denoted by banks and/or ditches.

Despite partial disturbance by quarrying in the past, the quadrilateral enclosure near Saxon Down survives relatively well in an area of chalk downland with little present day development. As such, the site has a good degree of potential for further archaeological investigation. Despite the uncertainty concerning its identification it is clear that this earthwork is unusual in form and must be considered of archaeological importance. The earthwork will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the enclosure and the landscape in which it was built. The surrounding area has many archaeological features, which will enhance its significance.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 24 February 2015. This 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 quadrilateral enclosure, denoted by a bank and ditch, situated on the north-east slope of a hill between Saxon Cross and Saxon Down on the South Downs.

The enclosure survives as an earthwork and below-ground archaeological remains. Only the west sides and part of the north and south side are now visible as an earthwork; the rest of the enclosure having become in-filled or partly levelled in the recent past. The north and west sides include a bank about 0.6m high and 3m wide. A ditch is visible on the south side, about 0.4m deep and 1.5m wide. There are two bowl barrows, which form a separate scheduled monument, within the bounds of the enclosure. It lies in close proximity to the course of a Roman road, and Roman material, including pottery and oyster shells, have been found in the area in the past. The enclosure is shown on an 1873 Sussex OS map (1:2500) with an ‘Old Chalk Pit’ marked within its confines. In 1939, partial excavation provided evidence of medieval occupation on the site including 13th century pottery, Cornish slate and a louvre. It has traditionally been suggested that the earthwork was the site of a medieval homestead or pastoral enclosure but this is uncertain.


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

Legacy System number: ES 406

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


East Sussex HER MES1594. NMR TQ41SW11. PastScape 406525.

End of official listing