Oval barrow 200m north east of Exceat Park Centre


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014386

Date first listed: 08-Dec-1980

Date of most recent amendment: 05-Feb-1996


Ordnance survey map of Oval barrow 200m north east of Exceat Park Centre
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: East Sussex

District: Wealden (District Authority)

Parish: Cuckmere Valley

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TV 52051 99654


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.

Although this example has been spread somewhat by erosion, it survives comparatively well and since agricultural activities are unlikely to have disturbed the primary burial, the original ground surface nor the ditches, it is considered to retain a high archaeological potential for the recovery of evidence of its date, manner of construction, use and environment.


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


The Neolithic oval barrow at Exceat includes a low earthen mound 28m long and up to 14m wide, and also the surrounding ditch or ditches from which the earth and chalk used to construct the mound was quarried. The mound is clearly visible; it is oval in plan and stands to a height of up to 1.2m above the surrounding ground level. The quarry ditch is not visible on the surface, however, having been filled by soil from the eroded mound. The monument is sited on relatively low ground compared with other examples in East Sussex, but it nevertheless shares its situation of local prominence, on the crest of a chalk spur overlooking lower ground, with many other similar examples. The flint estate wall which crosses the monument on the north side of the mound is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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: 12791

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing