Medieval farmstead at Buckham Hill, immediately north and south east of Princes


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016770

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1979

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Apr-1999


Ordnance survey map of Medieval farmstead at Buckham Hill, immediately north and south east of Princes
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This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2018 at 16:55:14.


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

County: East Sussex

District: Wealden (District Authority)

Parish: Isfield

National Grid Reference: TQ 45285 20542


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

Reasons for Designation

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have gradually evolved during the last 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the Eastern Weald sub-Province of the South-eastern Province, bounded by the North and South Downs and comprising an oval arrangement of inward facing escarpments of chalk and sandstone, separated by clay vales, all ringing a higher sandstone ridge. Apart from concentrations of nucleated settlements in the Vale of Holmsdale and around Canterbury, the sub- Province is dominated by high and very high densities of dispersed settlements, giving a countryside with farmsteads and associated enclosed fields, of medieval foundation, intermixed with cottages, medieval moated sites and hamlets bearing the names `green' or `dene'.

In some areas of medieval England settlement was dispersed across the landscape rather than nucleated into villages. Such dispersed settlement in an area, usually a township or parish, is defined by the lack of a single (or principal) nucleated settlement focus such as a village and the presence instead of small settlement units (small hamlets or farmsteads) spread across the area. These small settlements normally have a degree of interconnection with their close neighbours, for example, in relation to shared common land or road systems. Dispersed settlements varied enormously from region to region, but where they survive as earthworks their distinguishing features include roads and minor tracks, platforms on which stood houses and other buildings such as barns, enclosed crofts and small enclosed paddocks. In areas where stone was used for building, the outline of building foundations may still be clearly visible. Communal areas of the settlements frequently include features such as bakehouses, pinfolds and ponds. Areas of dispersed medieval settlement are found in both the South Eastern Province and the Northern and Western Provinces of England. They are found in upland and also some lowland areas. Where found, their archaeological remains are one of the most important sources of understanding about rural life in the five or more centuries following the Norman Conquest. The medieval farmstead at Buckham Hill represents the predominant dispersed form of medieval rural settlement within the Eastern Weald sub-Province. It survives well, in association with its contemporary field system and additional industrial features, and exhibits little subsequent disturbance. The monument will therefore retain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the original use and abandonment of the farmstead.


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


The monument includes the remains of a medieval farmstead and an area of associated closes, or small fields, situated on a sandstone hill around 2km south west of Uckfield. Historical and placename evidence suggests that the settlement had been established by the early 13th century. A 1971 survey located the main farmstead buildings, surviving as below ground remains, near the western edge of the monument, at the north western end of a NNW-SSE aligned, contemporary roadway, represented by a deep hollow way. The associated closes cover the remainder of the monument in an irregular grid pattern and take the form of at least six small rectangular fields enclosed by ditches which are now dry. A pond located in the south eastern corner of the monument is also believed to date to the medieval period, and surface finds of iron-working slag indicate the presence of a forge or furnace here during the medieval and/or early post-medieval periods. An 1829 survey and plan of the Rocks Estate, of which the by then abandoned farmstead formed a part, records the old field names within the monument. The survey records the south eastern field as Old Ford. This has been interpreted as a misspelling of Old Forge, providing further evidence for the iron-working carried out here. The excavation of a small quarry, believed to date to the post-medieval period, has partly disturbed the south western edge of the monument. The modern fences and gates 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.


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

Legacy System number: 31422

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Tebbutt, C, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Two Newly Discovered Medieval Sites, , Vol. 110, (1972), 31-36

End of official listing