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Oval barrow 775m south of Plumpton Place on Plumpton Plain

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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Oval barrow 775m south of Plumpton Place on Plumpton Plain

List entry Number: 1012625


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

County: East Sussex

District: Lewes

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Plumpton

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 29-Apr-1991

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 12790

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

Oval barrows are funerary and ceremonial monuments of the Early to Middle Neolithic periods, with the majority of dated monuments belonging to the later part of the range. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds of roughly elliptical plan, usually delimited by quarry ditches. These ditches can vary from paired "banana-shaped" ditches flanking the mound to "U-shaped" or unbroken oval ditches nearly or wholly encircling it. Along with the long barrows, oval barrows represent the burial places of Britain's early farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, oval barrows have produced two distinct types of burial rite: communal burials of groups of individuals, including adults and children, laid directly on the ground surface before the barrow was built; and burials of one or two adults interred in a grave pit centrally placed beneath the barrow mound. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and, consequently, it is probable that they may have acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Similarly, as the filling of the ditches around oval barrows often contains deliberately placed deposits of pottery, flintwork and bone, periodic ceremonial activity may have taken place at the barrow subsequent to its construction. Oval barrows are very rare nationally, with less than 50 recorded examples in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all oval barrows are considered to be nationally important.

Despite having been reduced in height by agricultural activities and by erosion, the barrow still has considerable archaeological potential since the primary burial pit, the old ground surface beneath the mound and the flanking ditches survive undisturbed by the plough and therefore retain evidence of the manner and duration of use of the monument, and of the environment in which it was created.


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


The easternmost of three closely-spaced prehistoric burial mounds on the crest of Plumpton Plain, this monument is easily distinguished by its elongated low earthen mound in contrast to the round mounds of its neighbours. It is an oval barrow and dates from the Neolithic period. The mound has a surrounding ditch which forms an integral part of the monument and is included in the scheduling. The earthen mound, orientated east-west, is 28m in length, 10m in width and stands to a height of 0.5m above the general ground level. The surrounding ditch is particularly visible on the southern side where it measures 2m across and 0.4m in depth. The ditch can be traced around both ends of the mound and is punctuated by causeways across the ditch at the south-east and south-west corners. It is considered to continue around the northern side of the mound, although erosion has filled in this side of the ditch completely. The ditch would have provided the earth and chalk with which the mound was constructed.

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.

Selected Sources

TQ 31 SE 13 (Example A),

National Grid Reference: TQ 35950 12663


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This copy shows the entry on 25-Sep-2018 at 09:50:04.

End of official listing