Muntham Court Romano-British site
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005850
Date first listed: 10-Jun-1953
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: West Sussex
District: Arun (District Authority)
National Park: SOUTH DOWNS
National Grid Reference: TQ 11105 09314
Iron Age defended settlement and Romano-British shrine, 312m north-west of Tolmare Farm Bungalow.
Reasons for Designation
The Iron Age defended settlement and Romano-British shrine north-west of Tolmare Farm Bungalow together provide a significant insight into occupation and management of the landscape during a period of several hundred years.
Iron Age defended settlements were located on hilltops with enclosing defences of earthen construction. At some sites earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Where excavated, evidence of stone- or timber-built houses has been found within the enclosures, which would have been occupied by small communities, perhaps no more than a single family group.
The location of a later Romano-British shrine on the same site as the Iron Age settlement near Tolmare Farm Bungalow is of considerable archaeological significance. The shrine would have been built to meet the spiritual needs of the local Romano-British community by acting as a focus for the veneration of a god or spirit, carried out through the offering of votive deposits. The site has only been part excavated and contains potential for further investigation. It will contain archaeological information and environmental evidence relating both to the Iron Age settlement and Romano-British shrine, and the landscape in which they were constructed.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 30th October 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 an Iron Age defended settlement and Romano-British shrine surviving as earthworks and below-ground remains. It is situated on the summit of a hill and on the surrounding slopes, north-west of Finden on the South Downs.
The Iron Age defended settlement survives as below-ground remains at the summit of the hill. It includes several hundred postholes, the probable sites of huts and corn drying racks, as well as a storage pit. The settlement was at least part enclosed by a palisade with an external ditch which survives as a buried feature, having become infilled in the past. Partial excavation in 1954-6 recorded the palisade trench fronted by a shallow ditch marking the eastern boundary of the site. The finds included part of a Bronze Age perforated macehead, spindle whorls, loom weights and Iron Age pottery.
A Romano-British shrine overlies part of the settlement and survives as an earthwork denoted by a circular depression, about 11m in diameter, as well as below-ground remains. A number of shallow pits containing ox skulls and bones, one of which was accompanied by a Romano-British pot, have been found in association with the shrine. Partial excavation recovered bronze objects, several brooches, three coins, a baked clay model of a human leg and Roman pottery including Samian ware. Many of these finds are likely to have been votive offerings. The finds indicate that the Romano-British site was in use from the first to the fourth century AD.
Further archaeological remains survive in the vicinity of the monument but are not included because they have not been formally assessed. On the south-east facing slope of the hill is a Roman well and associated buildings, to the west of the well, surviving as buried remains. The buildings, thought to be a Romano-British farmstead, have been identified by soil marks on aerial photographs.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: WS 150
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
West Sussex HER 4312 - MWS5598, 4314 - MWS5829, 4315 - MWS5830, 3108 - MWS246, 4313 - MWS1238. NMR TQ10NW3, TQ10NW69, TQ10NW39, TQ10NW64. PastScape 395601, 395753, 395677, 395740.
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