Causewayed enclosure, World War II searchlight emplacements and associated remains on Halnaker Hill
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Name: Causewayed enclosure, World War II searchlight emplacements and associated remains on Halnaker Hill
List entry Number: 1020514
The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: West Sussex
District Type: District Authority
National Park: SOUTH DOWNS
Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.
Date first scheduled: 13-Dec-1978
Date of most recent amendment: 07-Mar-2002
Legacy System Information
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System: RSM
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
Between 50 and 70 causewayed enclosures are recorded nationally, mainly in
southern and eastern England. They were constructed over a period of some
500 years during the middle part of the Neolithic period (c.3000-2400 BC)
but also continued in use into later periods. They vary considerably in
size (from 0.8ha to 28ha) and were apparently used for a variety of
functions, including settlement, defence, and ceremonial and funerary
purposes. However, all comprise a roughly circular to ovoid area bounded
by one or more concentric rings of banks and ditches. The ditches, from
which the monument class derives its name, were formed of a series of
elongated pits punctuated by unexcavated causeways. Causewayed enclosures
are amongst the earliest field monuments to survive as recognisable
features in the modern landscape and are one of the few known Neolithic
monument types. Due to their rarity, their wide diversity of plan, and
their considerable age, all causewayed enclosures are considered to be
Despite some disturbance by modern ploughing, the causewayed enclosure on Halnaker Hill survives well, and partial excavation has shown that it retains archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the construction and original function of the monument. Use of the exposed hilltop for flour milling during the post-medieval period illustrates a then common, everyday activity of which only a limited number of visible remains survive. The continuing strategic importance of the hill into the 20th century is represented by the World War II searchlight emplacements. Identified as a troop headquarters, the partly ruined emplacement is a powerful reminder of a crucial episode in the defence of the Channel coast.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
The monument, which falls into three separate areas of protection, includes a
Neolithic causewayed enclosure, a later post mill and World War II
searchlight emplacements situated on a chalk spur which projects to the south
from a ridge of the Sussex Downs. This location enjoys panoramic views of the
surrounding countryside and the Channel coast to the south. The causewayed
enclosure is a NNE-SSW aligned, oval area of about 2ha surrounded by a low
bank up to 5m wide and 0.5m high. The bank is flanked by an encircling
ditch up to 4m wide and 0.1m deep. Ploughing in the 20th century has partly
levelled the boundary earthworks, particularly on the northern side of the
enclosure, where the bank survives as a scarp up to 0.4m high. The main access
to the interior of the enclosure was by way of a simple, inturned entrance
through the southern defences, and at least five other original gaps through
the boundary earthwork have been identified. A further, north east-south west
aligned linear bank, now largely levelled by modern ploughing, runs alongside
and to the south west of the north western side of the enclosure, and this has
been interpreted as an original, associated feature. Investigations between
1981-1983 led to the discovery of fragments of pottery within the ditch. Some
of these have been dated to the Neolithic period (3500-2000 BC), and Late
Bronze Age and Roman sherds indicate that the enclosure may have undergone
subsequent episodes of reuse.
The later post mill lies close to the southern entrance of the earlier
enclosure and survives as a roughly circular mound about 19m in diameter and
up to 0.8m high, with a large central depression. Historical records suggest
that the windmill was sited here in 1540 by the Duke of Richmond in order to
operate as the feudal mill for the Goodwood Estates. In about 1850 the post
mill was replaced by a tower mill constructed about 25m to the north west.
This circular tower mill, which is Listed Grade II, is built of bricks faced
with clay tiles and has a restored timber beehive cap and four sweeps. The
tower stands on a terraced, circular earthen platform about 25m in diameter.
The windmill fell into disuse after being struck by lightning in 1905 and
suffering severe storm damage in 1913. It was comprehensively renovated in
1934 and restored again in 1950. The tower mill was used as an aircraft
observation tower during World War II.
Associated with the tower mill and roughly contemporary with it is the site
of the miller's house, which survives as a roughly rectangular building
platform up to 13.5m long and about 9m wide terraced into, and thus partly
disturbing, the south eastern ramparts of the earlier causewayed enclosure.
An embanked, circular depression about 12m in diameter and 0.6m deep situated
about 25m north east of the tower mill represents a now dry dew pond dating to
the 18th or 19th centuries.
During World War II, four large searchlights used to seek out raiding enemy
aircraft were sited on the hilltop. The searchlight emplacements, the middle
two of which are situated within the earlier enclosure, were constructed
about 100m apart in a south west facing, semicircular arc. They are octagonal
structures about 6m in diameter with concrete foundations and mortar-brick or
red brick walls. Apart from the southernmost, which has been largely
dismantled and takes the form of a concrete foundation, the emplacements
survive to their full height of 2.6m. The northernmost emplacement has been
capped with modern concrete and is used as a reservoir. Within the interior
are the circular concrete foundation blocks on which the now removed
searchlights were mounted. A rectangular concrete platform within the eastern
sector of the earlier enclosure would have supported an associated military
The tower mill, Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar and all modern fences,
gates and stiles are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
these features is included.
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.
Books and journals
Oswald, A, Dyer, C, Halnaker Hill, West Sussex, (1995)
National Grid Reference: SU 91964 09601, SU 92046 09693, SU 92057 09807
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 - 1020514 .pdf
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Sep-2018 at 12:55:19.
End of official listing