Flint mines on Windover Hill, 140m WSW of The Long Man
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 25-Jan-2020 at 18:03:47.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- East Sussex
- Wealden (District Authority)
- Long Man
- National Park:
- SOUTH DOWNS
- National Grid Reference:
- TQ 54102 03412
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.
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
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:
- Legacy System:
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.
End of official listing