The north western part of Itford Hill settlement


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014627

Date first listed: 01-May-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jul-1996


Ordnance survey map of The north western part of Itford Hill settlement
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: East Sussex

District: Lewes (District Authority)

Parish: Beddingham

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 44702 05283


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.

This part of the settlement on Itford Hill, the type site for this class of monument, survives well and has been shown by part excavation to contain a wide range of archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the period of its construction and use. The settlement lies adjacent to a prehistoric linear boundary. These monuments are broadly contemporary, and their close association will provide evidence for the relationship between settlement and land division during the Bronze Age.


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


The monument includes the largest, north western part of a settlement dating to the Late Bronze Age situated on a hill which forms the western end of a ridge of the Sussex Downs. This location enjoys extensive views of the Ouse Valley to the west and the English Channel to the south. The south eastern part of the settlement lies 150m to the south east and with the adjoining linear boundary, is the subject of a separate scheduling. The north western part of the settlement survives in earthwork form and contains at least seven banked, roughly oval and sub-rectangular compounds measuring between 12m by 10m and 40m by 25m. These are built back to back against, and are linked by, a south west-north east aligned, lynchet-like bank c.192m long, c.5m wide and up to c.1m high. During part excavation between 1949-52, the compounds were found to contain at least ten circular or oval timber buildings, representing houses, food and textile preparation huts, and stock shelters. The banks which enclose each compound survive to heights of up to c.1m and are constructed of dumped earth and chalk rubble. Trenches found running along the tops of the banks suggest that they were originally supplemented with palisades. Finds discovered during the excavation suggest that the settlement was in use during the tenth to eighth centuries BC. These included pottery sherds, loomweights, carbonised grain, fragments of saddle querns and the bones of cattle and sheep or goats. Among the more unusual artefacts found were part of an armlet made of shale from Kimmeredge in Dorset and a carved chalk phallus. The modern concrete marker posts situated around the periphery of the monument 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 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: 27062

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Burstow, G P, Holleyman, G A, 'Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society' in Late Bronze Age Settlement on Itford Hill, Sussex, , Vol. XXIII, (1957), 167-212
Ellison, A, 'Council for British Archaeology Research Report' in The Bronze Age of Sussex, , Vol. 29, (1978), 30-37

End of official listing