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Flint mine on Stoke Down, immediately north of Stoke Clump

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Flint mine on Stoke Down, immediately north of Stoke Clump

List entry Number: 1018563

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Funtington

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Lavant

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 21-Jan-1999

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 31212

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 mine immediately north of Stoke Clump survives well below ground, despite its surface features having been levelled by modern ploughing. Part excavation and a survey of aerial photographs has shown that it contains important archaeological remains relating to the original use of the monument. The flint mine forms part of a group of broadly contemporary monuments situated in this area of downland, including barrows, settlements and a linear boundary, providing evidence for the developing pattern of land use during the prehistoric period.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a prehistoric flint mine situated on the north eastern slope of a chalk spur which forms part of the Sussex Downs. Surviving mainly in the form of infilled buried features, the monument has been shown by a survey of aerial photographs to contain the remains of a linear group of at least 70 roughly circular pits up to 9m in diameter, which were dug to reach the underground seams of flint. These are surrounded by now levelled, overlapping spoil heaps which are visible as lighter areas in the soil. Three of the pits were excavated during the early 20th century, revealing that they survive to a depth of up to 4.5m. Flint and antler tools were recovered from the pits during these excavations, as well as part of a stone saddle quern. Further, as yet unconfirmed remains of the mine may extend into the areas beyond the scheduling. All modern fences 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.

Selected Sources

Other
RCHME (forthcoming), Industry and Enclosure in the Neolithic: West Stoke Flint Mines, 1994,

National Grid Reference: SU 83374 09555

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1018563 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 05:40:01.

End of official listing