Settlement site in Chantry Bottom
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- West Sussex
- Arun (District Authority)
- West Sussex
- Horsham (District Authority)
- Storrington and Sullington
- National Park:
- SOUTH DOWNS
- National Grid Reference:
- TQ 08202 11603
Romano-British settlement and a medieval farmstead at Chantry Bottom, 1.4km NNE of Lee Farm.
Reasons for Designation
The Romano-British settlement remains and medieval farmstead at Chantry Bottom provide evidence for farming practices and management of the landscape in this part of the South Downs over a long period.
Romano-British farmsteads are small agricultural units comprising groups of up to four circular or rectangular houses along with associated structures which may include wells, storage pits, corn-drying ovens and granary stores. These were sometimes constructed within a yard surrounded by a rectangular or curvilinear enclosure, and associated field systems, trackways and cemeteries may be located nearby. Most Romano-British farmsteads in south east England have been discovered by the analysis of aerial photographs. They usually survive in the form of buried features visible as crop and soil marks and occasionally as low earthworks.
Romano-British farmsteads occur throughout southern England, but cluster on the chalk downland of Wessex, Sussex and Kent. As the most representative form of rural settlement in the region during the Roman period, all Romano-British farmsteads which have been positively identified and which have significant surviving remains will merit protection.
Medieval farmsteads were normally occupied by only one or two families and comprised small groups of buildings with attached yards, gardens and enclosures. The sites of many farmsteads have been occupied down to the present day but others were abandoned as a result of, for example, declining economic viability, enclosure or emparkment, or epidemics like the Black Death. Farmsteads are a common and long-lived monument type; the archaeological deposits on those which were abandoned are often well-preserved and provide important information on regional and national settlement patterns and farming economies, and on changes in these through time.
The Romano-British settlement and medieval farmstead at Chantry Bottom will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the farmsteads and the landscape in which they were constructed. Romano-British settlements are not common in this part of the South Downs. The medieval farmstead to the south-east provides evidence of continuity of land-use and farming practice. It survives well and the earthworks are clearly visible on aerial photographs. As an abandoned medieval site it is likely to contain well-preserved archaeological deposits.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 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 Romano-British settlement and medieval farmstead surviving as earthworks and below-ground archaeological remains. It is situated on south facing slopes, which form a natural hollow between two ridges south of Kithurst Hill on the South Downs.
On the ridge known as Middle Brow to the west is a Romano-British settlement, thought to be a farmstead or villa, which has been part-levelled by ploughing. Partial excavation in 1923 and 1947 identified a rectangular enclosure bounded by two banks with an intervening ditch.
Approaching the enclosure from the north is a Romano-British trackway, orientated NNE-SSW along the top of the ridge and consisting of an area of flints 0.5m wide. The ploughed lynchets of a regular aggregate field system are associated with the Romano-British site. A Roman coin of Antoninus Pius as well as Roman tile and pottery has been found on the site
The medieval farmstead is situated on the floor of Chantry bottom, to the south-east. It includes two rectangular enclosures denoted by banks as well as a house platform and terracing. The northern enclosure, orientated north-east to south-west, is about 55m long by 43m wide. Adjoining it to the south is the second enclosure, of which only the north, east and south sides survive as earthworks. It encloses an area 31m by 29m. On the western side of the enclosure is a rectangular house platform, which is 10m long by 7m wide. In the early 20th century, some 14th and 15th century pottery and oyster shells were recovered from the site.
Further archaeological remains survive in the vicinity of this monument but are not included because they have not been formally assessed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- WS 384
- Legacy System:
- RSM - OCN
West Sussex HER 2609 - MWS3381, 2592 - MWS2834, 2610 - MWS2839, 2567 - MWS2821, 2557 - MWS2814, 2607 - MWS5812. NMR TQ01SE54, TQ01SE52, TQ01SE46, TQ01SE36, TQ01SE45. PastScape 393150, 393148, 393136, 393106, 393135
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