Flint mines on Windover Hill, 140m WSW of The Long Man


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014631

Date first listed: 10-Jul-1996


Ordnance survey map of Flint mines on Windover Hill, 140m WSW 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 54102 03412


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 140m WSW of The Long Man survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the period in which they were used. The Windover Hill to Folkington Hill ridge supports a wide range of funerary monuments, and a further, associated flint mine c.300m to the east 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.


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. The flint mines are an area of hummocky ground covering c.0.5ha, made up of a group of around 15 irregular depressions surviving to a depth of up to c.1m. These are the partly infilled remains of pits dug into the ground to reach the underlying seams of flint. The hollows are surrounded by overlapping spoil heaps up to c.0.5m high.

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: 27066

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing