HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Historic England research records Result
Historic England research recordsPrintable version | About Historic England research records

Historic England Research Records

The Trundle Causewayed Enclosure

Hob Uid: 1032276
Location :
West Sussex
Chichester
Singleton
Grid Ref : SU8770011000
Summary : The well-preserved earthworks of complex Neolithic causewayed enclosure underlying The Trundle hillfort on St Roche's Hill. The Trundle is the largest and most complex of the West Sussex enclosures, comprising at least four Neolithic earthworks, probably more, and enclosing at least 7 hectares.It was originally identified as a possible Neolithic enclosure by OGS Crawford from an aerial photograph in 1925. Excavations by Curwen in 1928 and 1930 confirmed this. Smaller scale excavation occurred in 1980, while small-scale geophysical survey was undertaken in the late 1980s. The earthworks were re-surveyed by RCHME in 1995, as part of the project focusing on Neolithic causewayed enclosures and related sites. The survey demonstrated that the Neolithic earthworks are far more complex than had been suggested by Curwen's survey and excavations. He had identified three circuits - an inner ditch, a second spiral ditch, and an outer ditch which was largely overlain by the later Iron Age earthworks. In fact, the earthworks seem to represent an inner ditch, a concentric second ditch, and the remainder of the spiral ditch appears instead to represent two whole or partial overlapping circuits. Traces of the outer ditch are also possibly represented by cropmarks which suggests that it may have extended beyond the Iron Age ramparts.The earthwork is assigned to the fourth millennium based on its segmented form and its relationship with the hillfort. The radiocarbon dates from the site are compatible with an initial construction date in the mid-fourth millennium cal BC or later. Any advance in our understanding of the chronology of this major complex depends on further excavation.
More information : (SU 8774 1107) In May 1995 RCHME carried out an analytical earthwork survey of the causewayed enclosure on St Roche's Hill as part of the project to record Industry and Enclosure in the Neolithic Period (1). The causewayed enclosure has previously been described along with The Trundle Iron Age hillfort (SU 81 SE 21) and is often known by the same name; the monument was assigned a new reference to enhance the record.
RCHME's re-survey indicates that the causewayed enclosure may comprise a series of overlapping eccentric enclosures, rather than a single spiral circuit. The entrance to the inner enclosure may be on its NE side. Aerial photographic transcription of the cropmark observed by source 4 suggested a relatively complex series of cut features, and a possible segmented ditch, perhaps a continuation of Curwen's outer ditch.
For further details, including full description and interpretation, plan surveyed at 1:1000 scale with AP transcription and interpretative figures, see RCHME Level 3 client report, held in NMR archive. Black and white and colour photographs were taken subsequent to the survey. (1)

In 1925, the slight earthworks of the causewayed enclosure were identified by OGS Crawford on an aerial photograph. In 1928 and 1930 the site was investigated by EC Curwen who made a detailed analytical plan of the earthworks, identifying a small inner enclosure, an apparently continuous spiral earthwork which he termed the 'second ditch' and the 'spiral ditch' (the latter being the overlapping portion), and an 'outer ditch' underlying the counterscarp bank. RCHME's re-survey confirms Curwen's plan for the most part. The inner enclosure is sub-circular, enclosing 0.95ha, and comprises a discontinuous internal bank and causewayed outer ditch. The ditch segments (superficially) range from 4.5m to 36m long and are no more than 0.3m deep.

Curwen also excavated trenches across the inner, second and spiral ditches, and the junction between the outer ditch and the IA hillfort, at which point he discovered a probable beaker burial. These excavations demonstrated the causewayed character of the monument, and the variable depth and profile of the ditch segments, typical of the Neolithic period. Several pits were excavated around the hilltop, all but one of which were certainly of IA date. No Neolithic structures were encountered.

The pottery was of Windmill Hill type, indicating a date in the mid-4th millennium BC. 2197 flints were recovered, of which 2.7% were tools or cores. The most commonly found implements were serrated flakes and scrapers (28 and 12 respectively). An axe fragment and two fragments of leaf-shaped arrowheads were also found. The faunal assemblage was dominated by ox and pig, and bone tools included two awls. The lower stone of a saddle quern was found. The snail asemblage was taken to indiacte generally damp woodland conditions (2-3).

In 1969, Bradley observed a cropmark running in an arc across the western flank of St Roche's Hill, which he concluded might be an element of the causewayed enclosure (4).

A small area was excavated in 1980 by Bedwin and Aldsworth prior to the erection of a replacement microwave aerial. Part of the spiral Neolithic ditch encountered by Curwen was examined and its dating confirmed by the presence of well-stratified Neolithic pot sherds in the lower silt levels. Land snail analysis suggested that the Neolithic enclosure was constructed in an area recently but extensively cleared of forest. Later the area became overgrown with regenerated scrub prior to renewed clearance and arable agriculture in the Iron Age (5). Radiocarbon dates were obtained from Curwen's material: 3290+/-140bc, 3090+/-170bc, 2910+/-100bc.
(6-7).

Additional references to the Trundle, particularly individual finds, and environmental analysis (8-11).

The Trundle was considered in new research into the dating of causewayed enclosures.The first millennium radiocarbon date of a skeleton from the outer ditch means that the earthwork is assigned to the fourth millennium only by its segmented form and its relationship with the hillfort. The date, however, provides a terminus post quem for the overlying counterscarp. The radiocarbon dates from the site are compatible with an initial construction date in the mid-fourth millennium cal BC or later. Any advance in our understanding of the chronology of this major complex depends on further excavation. (12)

Scheduled monument. The large univallate hillfort and Neolithic causewayed enclosure on St Roche's Hill survive well, despite some later disturbance. Investigations have indicated that the causewayed enclosure may have been the first to be constructed in Sussex, and it pre-dates the main period of construction of this type of monument by some 300 years. The close association of the hillfort and enclosure with other prehistoric monuments in the area, including cross dykes, burial mounds and the nearby Neolithic causewayed enclosure on Court Hill, will provide evidence for the relationship between settlement, burial and land division during the later prehistoric period.
The designated record of the causewayed enclosure can be accessed online from the National Heritage List for England.
(13-14)



Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : RCHME: Industry and Enclosure in the Neolithic: St Roche's Hill Survey
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Sussex archaeological collections : relating to the history and antiquities of the counties of East and West Sussex
Source details : Curwen EC. Excavations in The Trundle, Goodwood, 1928.
Page(s) : 33-85
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 70, 1929
Source Number : 11
Source : Archaeological aspects of woodland ecology
Source details :
Page(s) : 146, 152FF
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 146
Source Number : 12
Source : Gathering Time: Dating the Early Neolithic Enclosures of Southern Britain and Ireland
Source details : Chapter 5.4 The Trundle
Page(s) : 232-239
Figs. : 5.17-5.22
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 13
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : English Heritage Scheduling Amendment 27-APR-1998.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 14
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : English Heritage 2011, The National Heritage List for England, [Accessed 14-JUL-2011]
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : St Roche's Hill/ink survey
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : St Roche's Hill
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number :
Source : St Roche's Hill/pencil survey
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Sussex archaeological collections : relating to the history and antiquities of the counties of East and West Sussex
Source details : Curwen EC. Excavations in The Trundle, second season 1930.
Page(s) : 100-49
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 72, 1931
Source Number : 4
Source : Sussex notes and queries
Source details : Bradley R. The Trundle revisited.
Page(s) : 133-4
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 17, 1969
Source Number : 5
Source : Sussex archaeological collections : relating to the history and antiquities of the counties of East and West Sussex
Source details : Bedwin O, Aldsworth F. Excavations at The Trundle, 1980.
Page(s) : 208-14
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 119, 1981
Source Number : 6
Source : Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society
Source details : Drewett P, Bedwin O.
Page(s) : 86
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 47, 1981
Source Number : 7
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : Aldsworth FG.
Page(s) : 56
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 142, 1985
Source Number : 8
Source : The flint arrowheads of the British Isles : a detailed study of material from England and Wales with comparanda from Scotland and Ireland
Source details :
Page(s) : 358
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 75
Source Number : 9
Source : University College London Institute of Archaeology bulletin
Source details : Bedwin O
Page(s) : 21-Feb
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : Archaeology in Sussex to AD 1500 : essays for Eric Holden
Source details :
Page(s) : 24-5, 43...
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Components and Objects:
Period : Neolithic
Component Monument Type : Pit, Post Hole, Crouched Inhumation
Object Type : VESSEL, SERRATED IMPLEMENT, LEAF ARROWHEAD, AXEHEAD, QUERN, ANIMAL REMAINS, PHALLIC OBJECT
Object Material : Pottery, Flint, Bone

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : AF1050744
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WS 41a
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WS 41b
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WS 41c
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 31201
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1018034
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 81 SE 52
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 246359
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 246354
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 246319
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 246324
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1187854
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : RCHME: THE TRUNDLE
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-05-03
End Date : 1995-05-16
Associated Activities : LAND AT THE TRUNDLE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2013-01-01
End Date : 2013-12-31