Barkhale Camp causewayed enclosure

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007880

Date first listed: 07-Apr-1967

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Oct-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of Barkhale Camp causewayed enclosure
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

County: West Sussex

District: Arun (District Authority)

Parish: Madehurst

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester (District Authority)

Parish: Bignor

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 97568 12616

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Between 50 and 70 causewayed enclosures are recorded nationally, mainly in southern and eastern England. They were constructed over a period of some 500 years during the middle part of the Neolithic period (c.3000-2400 BC) but also continued in use into later periods. They vary considerably in size (from 2 to 70 acres) and were apparently used for a variety of functions, including settlement, defence, and ceremonial and funerary purposes. However, all comprise a roughly circular to ovoid area bounded by one or more concentric rings of banks and ditches. The ditches, from which the monument class derives its name, were formed of a series of elongated pits punctuated by unexcavated causeways. Causewayed enclosures are amongst the earliest field monuments to survive as recognisable features in the modern landscape and are one of the few known Neolithic monument types. Due to their rarity, their wide diversity of plan, and their considerable age, all causewayed enclosures are considered to be nationally important.

Barkhale Camp survives well as one of a series of five causewayed enclosures situated along the length of the Sussex Downs. Partial excavation of the enclosure on at least two separate occasions has demonstrated the extent to which both archaeological and environmental evidence survives relating to the construction and use of the monument and the nature of the contemporary landscape.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a Neolithic causewayed enclosure situated on a gentle south-facing slope between the two summits of Bignor Hill. The enclosure is defined by a low bank and outer ditch, the ditch being interrupted by causeways spaced at regular intervals, a characteristic of this type of monument. The area enclosed is 3ha and has maximum dimensions of 220m from north to south and 150m from east to west. The bank survives to a height of 0.5m and is 10m wide. The ditch has become partially infilled over the years but survives up to 4m wide in sections between 10m and 30m long. The site was first surveyed in 1930 and excavations were undertaken in 1958-61 and 1978. Trenches were dug to investigate the bank and ditch as well as the interior of the enclosure. Neolithic pottery and flint tools were discovered confirming that the enclosure was occupied during the Neolithic period. Some pottery dating to later periods was also found. Excluded from the scheduling are all fences and fence posts, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 20194

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Leach, P E, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Exc. of Neo. Causewayed Enclosure On Barkhale Down, , Vol. 121, (1983), 11-30

End of official listing