Romano-British farmstead 480m north west of Devil's Dyke Cottages


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017649

Date first listed: 31-Jan-1997


Ordnance survey map of Romano-British farmstead 480m north west of Devil's Dyke Cottages
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This copy shows the entry on 15-Dec-2018 at 15:47:22.


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

County: West Sussex

District: Mid Sussex (District Authority)

Parish: Poynings

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: TQ 25573 10669


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

Reasons for Designation

Romano-British farmsteads are small agricultural units comprising groups of up to four circular or rectangular houses along with associated structures which may include wells, storage pits, corn-drying ovens and granary stores. These were sometimes constructed within a yard surrounded by a rectangular or curvilinear enclosure, and associated field systems, trackways and cemeteries may be located nearby. Most Romano-British farmsteads in south east England have been discovered by the analysis of aerial photographs. They usually survive in the form of buried features visible as crop and soil marks and occasionally as low earthworks. Often situated on marginal agricultural land and found throughout the British Isles, they date to the period of Roman occupation (c.AD 43-450). Romano-British farmsteads are generally regarded as low status settlements, with the members of one family or small kinship group pursuing a mixed farming economy. Excavation at these sites has shown a marked continuity with later prehistoric settlements. There is little evidence of personal wealth and a limited uptake of the Romanised way of life. Romano- British farmsteads occur throughout southern England, but cluster on the chalk downland of Wessex, Sussex and Kent. As the most representative form of rural settlement in the region during the Roman period, all Romano-British farmsteads which have been positively identified and which have significant surviving remains will merit protection.

The Romano-British farmstead 480m north west of Devil's Dyke Cottages survives well, despite some disturbance by modern ploughing, and has been shown by part excavation to contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the ways in which the monument was constructed and used. The close association of two broadly contemporary monuments, the farmstead and the Iron Age hillfort, will provide evidence for the changing nature of settlement during the Late Iron Age-Romano-British period.


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


The monument includes a farmstead dating to the early Romano-British period situated on a ridge of the Sussex Downs. The farmstead survives largely in buried form and is visible as an area of hollows and uneven ground covering c.1.75ha. Part excavation in 1935 revealed a circular, levelled area c.9m in diameter, interpreted as a round house. Associated with the domestic building were seven refuse pits containing oyster shells, pottery sherds and coins. These indicated that the farmstead was in use around the period of the Roman occupation (AD 43). Further buried remains associated with the farmstead will survive between and around these features. 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.


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

Legacy System number: 27082

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Burstow, G P, Wilson, A E, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Excavation of a Celtic Village on the Ladies' Golf Course, etc, , Vol. 77, (1936), 195-201

End of official listing