An Itford Hill style settlement in Kingley Vale

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009004

Date first listed: 30-Dec-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of An Itford Hill style settlement in Kingley Vale
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester (District Authority)

Parish: Funtington

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 82029 10646

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Itford Hill style settlements are small domestic settlements of one to three households, usually covering an area of between 1ha and 3ha, comprising a series of small banked compounds set back to back. The compounds are frequently associated with tracks and hollow ways which link the settlements to field systems, and round barrow cemeteries are often nearby. The settlements date to the Late Bronze Age (tenth to eighth centuries BC). Excavated examples have shown that the compounds usually contain circular wooden buildings varying in diameter from 3m to 8m, with entrance porches. Associated with these structures would have been a series of working areas and fenced compounds; small ponds have also been found. Finds, including loomweights and carbonised grain, provide evidence for the practice of a mixed farming economy. Itford Hill style settlements are found in southern England, principally in the chalk downland of Sussex where Itford Hill itself is located. They are a rare monument type, with less than 20 examples known nationally.



Beneficial land use over the years has enabled Bow Hill and Kingley Vale to support one of the most diverse and well preserved areas of chalk downland archaeological remains in south eastern England. These remains are considered to be of particular significance because they include types of monument, dating from the prehistoric and Roman periods, more often found in Wessex and south western Britain. The well preserved and often visible relationship between trackways, settlement sites, land boundaries, stock enclosures, flint mines, ceremonial and funerary monuments in the area gives significant insight into successive changes in the pattern of land use over time. Despite limited disturbance by 20th century military activity and the action of tree roots on the margins of the site, the settlement in Kingley Vale survives well and contains archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The settlement is situated close to a cross dyke which straddles the ridge 150m to the south west. These monuments are broadly contemporary and their close association will provide evidence for the relationship between settlement and land division during the period of their construction and use.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a Late Bronze Age Itford Hill style settlement situated near the bottom of the south eastern slope of Bow Hill, a ridge of the Sussex Downs. The settlement is a group of at least five roughly circular and semicircular banked compounds between 8m and 30m in diameter. The compound interiors are hollows up to 0.5m deep, and the enclosing banks survive to a height of c.0.5m above the surrounding ground. The compounds are built back to back, against, and linked by, a series of lynchet-like banks up to 10m wide and surviving to a height of up to 1m on the downslope side. Between the two main, parallel, south west-north east orientated banks is an area of hummocky ground likely to contain the buried remains of working areas and fenced compounds associated with the settlement, although there is some evidence of World War II army training activity on the site, which may have caused later ground disturbance. The modern fences which cross the monument to the south, west and east are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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: 24399

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Curwen, EC, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Sussex Archaeological Collections, , Vol. 75, (1934), 209-215

End of official listing