Pair of hlaews 150m south east of Chanctonbury Ring hillfort

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015118

Date first listed: 01-May-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Nov-1996

Map

Ordnance survey map of Pair of hlaews 150m south east of Chanctonbury Ring hillfort
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Horsham (District Authority)

Parish: Wiston

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 14065 11967

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

A hlaew is a burial monument of Anglo-Saxon or Viking date and comprising a hemispherical mound of earth and redeposited bedrock constructed over a primary burial or burials. These were usually inhumations, buried in a grave cut into the subsoil beneath the mound, but cremations placed on the old ground surface beneath the mound have also been found. Hlaews may occur in pairs or in small groups; a few have accompanying flat graves. Constructed during the pagan Saxon and Viking periods for individuals of high rank, they served as visible and ostentatious markers of their social position. Some were associated with territorial claims and appear to have been specifically located to mark boundaries. They often contain objects which give information on the range of technological skill and trading contacts of the period. Only between 50 and 60 hlaews have been positively identified in England. As a rare monument class all positively identified examples are considered worthy of preservation.

Despite some disturbance by a downland path, the pair of hlaews 150m south east of Chanctonbury Ring hillfort survive comparatively well, and will contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. The monument forms part of a group of prehistoric, Roman and early medieval earthworks situated on Chanctonbury Hill, including a further pair of hlaews, a hillfort, Romano- Celtic temple, two cross dykes and a number of round barrows, which are the subjects of separate schedulings. The close association of these monuments will provide evidence for the changing relationships between ceremonial and burial practices and land division in this area of downland over a period of c.1,500 years.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a south west-north east aligned pair of early medieval barrows or hlaews, situated on a ridge which forms part of the Sussex Downs. The south western hlaew has a roughly circular mound c.7m in diameter and c.0.2m high, surrounded by a ditch from which material used to construct the hlaew was excavated. This has become infilled over the years, but will survive as a buried feature c.1m wide. The hlaew has been partly disturbed on its north eastern side by use of a downland footpath which crosses the ridge at this point. Lying around 5m to the north east, the second hlaew has an uneven mound c.7m in diameter and up to 0.2m high, also surrounded by a buried quarry ditch c.1m wide.

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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 27095

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Bedwin, O, 'Britannia' in Excavations a Chanctonbury Ring, Wiston, West Sussex, 1977, , Vol. 11, (1980), 173-231

End of official listing