Flint mines and part of a Romano-British trackway on Windover Hill, 180m ESE of The Long Man


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014630

Date first listed: 03-Jan-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jul-1996


Ordnance survey map of Flint mines and part of a Romano-British trackway on Windover Hill, 180m ESE of The Long Man
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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: Long Man

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 54423 03386


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

Reasons for Designation

Flint mines are found where, during Neolithic and Early Bronze Age times (c.3500-1200 BC), nodules of flint were extracted from underground seams within chalk deposits. There is no pattern or regular form to the arrangement of mine sites as the shafts, pits or open-cast workings are closely related to the underlying supplies of flint rather than an overall scheme of how the mine should be organised. In general, however, the shafts, pits and spoil heaps are closely packed together and sometimes even abut one another. In overall size, flint mines range from single shafts and associated works covering less than 1ha, to large mines of several hundred shafts spread over an extensive area. Flint mines provided high quality flint for implement manufacture in the millennia before the widespread availability of metal; the discovery of ceremonial deposits, including carved objects, in some shafts indicates the importance ascribed to them by early prehistoric communities. The workings were excavated by hand with antler picks and a selection of specialist bone, antler, wood and flint tools. Extensive flint knapping floors, areas where the mined flint was worked, are sometimes found within and around the mine area, along with hearths and traces of timber buildings. Evidence of secondary uses of abandoned flint mines is fairly common, and human burials dating from Neolithic times onwards are regularly found in the upper fills of pits and shafts. The hollows left in the tops of infilled shafts also provided suitable areas for occupation long after the mines themselves had gone out of use. The distribution of flint mines is largely dictated by the extent of the Upper Chalk, which is the geological band in which seams of flint occur. Flint mines are known in most areas of Upper Chalk outcrops and generally occur on the tops of hills or ridges, or along their flanking slopes, from Norfolk to Dorset. The earliest sites, dating to the Early and Middle Neolithic period, are clustered on the Sussex Downs. Flint mines are a rare monument type, with only around 20 examples known nationally. One of relatively few classes of monuments dating to all phases of the Neolithic period, they contain evidence relating to technology and work organisation in the period and represent the source of the most commonly used and widespread material available for making edged tools and implements. All well-preserved examples are considered to be of national importance.

The flint mines on Windover Hill 180m ESE of The Long Man survive well and have been shown by part excavation to contain archaeological evidence and environmental remains relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The Windover Hill to Folkington Hill ridge supports a wide range of funerary monuments, and a further, associated flint mine c.200m to the west of the monument, dating to the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age. The close association of these broadly contemporary monuments illustrates the importance of the area for burial practices and the extraction of material for implement manufacture, and provides evidence for the relationship between these types of activity, during the prehistoric period. The later trackway provides evidence for the continued use of the Downland ridge as a route of communication into the Romano-British period.


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


The monument includes an area of prehistoric flint mines situated near the top of the northern slope of a ridge of the Sussex Downs, and part of a later, north west-south east aligned trackway which crosses the flint mines. This is thought to date to the Romano-British period. The flint mines are a roughly semicircular area of hummocky ground covering c.0.65ha, made up of at least 12 roughly circular and irregular hollows up to 20m in diameter and surviving to a depth of up to 3m. These are the partly infilled remains of pits dug into the ground to reach the underlying seams of flint. The circular hollows are surrounded by overlapping spoil heaps up to c.4m high. One of the hollows was partly excavated in 1971, when it was found to contain a filling largely consisting of roughly cut chalk blocks. A prehistoric flint hammerstone and two struck flint flakes were also discovered. The Romano-British trackway crosses and partly overlies the southern half of the area occupied by the flint mines. It takes the form of a narrow terrace cut or eroded into the underlying chalk bedrock. The trackway continues beyond the monument to the north west and south east along the ridge, and now forms the route of the modern South Downs Way long distance footpath. The modern fence which crosses the monument 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: 27065

Legacy System: RSM


EH file AA52772/1, Saunders, AD (PIAME), Ancient Monuments Record Form, (1972)
source 1, RCHME, TQ 50 SW 42, (1928)

End of official listing