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Neolithic causewayed enclosure on Combe Hill

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Neolithic causewayed enclosure on Combe Hill

List entry Number: 1012497


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: East Sussex

District: Eastbourne

District Type: District Authority


National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Jun-1991

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 12874

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

Despite the limited disturbance caused by partial excavation, the causewayed enclosure on Combe Hill survives well and holds considerable potential for the recovery of evidence of the nature and duration of its use and of the environment in which it was constructed. As a focus for the siting of later monuments of Bronze Age date, the monument illustrates the long-lasting significance of the sites of causewayed enclosures in the development of the built landscape.


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


The monument includes the banks, ditches, causeways and internal area of a Neolithic enclosure situated on a saddle of ground between the two summits of Combe Hill. The monument takes the form of a double circuit of ditch segments of lengths between 10m and 35m, each with an earthen bank on its inner edge and each separated from the next ditch by a causeway of undisturbed chalk. The inner circuit encloses an area of some 1.1 ha. It does not appear to be complete, however, since the slope on the north side is very steep and shows no evidence on the surface of earthworks. The outer ditch survives as earthworks to the east and west of the inner circuit but there is no surface indication of an outer circuit of ditches on the north or south sides where the ground again slopes significantly. The banks survive to a maximum height of 0.8m above ground level, the ditches to a depth of 0.5m below it. Partial excavation in 1949 recovered confirmatory evidence of the Neolithic date of the enclosure in the form of stone tools and pottery.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Drewett, P, Rudling, D, Gardner, M, The South East to 1000, (1989)
Musson, C, 'Sussex Arch Collections' in Sussex Arch Collections, , Vol. 89, (1950)

National Grid Reference: TQ 57489 02215


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This copy shows the entry on 18-Aug-2018 at 03:31:52.

End of official listing