Barkhale Camp causewayed enclosure


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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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
Chichester (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SU 97568 12616

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.


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.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


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


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