Mesolithic site W of Abinger Manor

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1005927

Date first listed: 21-Feb-1978

Map

Ordnance survey map of Mesolithic site W of Abinger Manor
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Location

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

County: Surrey

District: Mole Valley (District Authority)

Parish: Abinger

National Grid Reference: TQ 11173 45865

Summary

Mesolithic pit-dwelling, 230m south-west of Abinger Manor.

Reasons for Designation

The Mesolithic pit-dwelling, 230m south-west of Abinger Manor is a rare and highly significant site of Mesolithic occupation that has been shown by excavation to contain a considerable microlithic assemblage. The pit-dwelling survives well and represents one of the oldest known and preserved man-made dwellings in Britain. Similar pit-dwellings have been found in Surrey at Farnham and in East Sussex at Selmeston. They are thought to represent sites of semi-permanent occupation, perhaps as winter accommodation, where huts were erected over shallow pits. The area in the vicinity of the Abinger site has a high degree of potential for further archaeological investigation. On the basis of what is known about Mesolithic pit-dwellings it is possible that other pits will survive nearby. The microlithic assemblage found on the site is more primitive and possibly ancestral to those of the Horsham Culture (c7000-6000 BC) found elsewhere in Surrey. As such it represents an important evolution in the development of the Prehistoric flint industry and adds additional importance and significance to the site.

History

See Details.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 11 December 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 Mesolithic pit-dwelling situated on a gentle south-west facing slope of Greensand, south of Tillingbourne river. The pit-dwelling is preserved in an excavated state inside a modern purpose-built hut. It measures approximately 4.5m north-west to south-east by 2.5m north-east to south-west and is 1m deep. There are two post holes at the west end of the pit and two hearths located outside the pit, one to the north and another to the south. The site was partially excavated in 1950, which recovered over 6500 flints from the pit and its immediate surroundings. These have been identified as a primitive microlithic assemblage with elements of the Tardenoisian Culture, which are likely to be earlier and probably ancestral to the Horsham Culture found elsewhere in Surrey as well as Sussex and Kent.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: SU 169

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

Sources

Books and journals
Leakey, L S B, 'Preliminary excavations of a Mesolithic site at Abinger Common, Surrey' in Research Papers of the Surrey Archaeological Society , , Vol. 3, (1951), 1-44
Other
: Surrey HER 52. NMR TQ14NW22. PastScape 397009

End of official listing