Highdown Hill


Title: Highdown Hill
Description: A late Bronze Age settlement and an early Iron Age hill fort with a pagan Saxon cemetery exist at the top of Highdown Hill. This is an important archaeological site owned by the National Trust and on a clear day it is possible to see the Isle of Wight to the west and Beachy Head to the east.

Address: Littlehampton Road, , Goring-by-Sea, West Sussex
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Further Information:
Owned by the National Trust, Highdown Hill is 226 feet (69 metres) high and is separated from the rest of the South Downs. Settled during the Bronze Age, archaeological digs have revealed huts, two hearths and a cooking pit as well as artefacts, which include pottery and a loom weight from this time.

The hill fort consists of a single bank and ditch and was dug during the Iron Age. It surrounds an area of 1.5 acres (0.6 hectares) with access provided through a gateway in the eastern bank; the postholes that supported the gate can still be seen. An entrance in the south bank is later, perhaps from the eighteenth century when a mill was located here. The date of a second smaller bank and ditch around the southeast corner is unknown, although a number of Saxon graves have been found along the top.

The remains of a late first or early second century Roman bathhouse have also been discovered here. Located half way down the west side of the hill, one cold bath and two hot rooms were excavated in 1936 and 1938, along with pottery, window glass, bronze spoons, an iron ladle and other assorted objects. It is still unclear if this bathhouse is linked to a yet undiscovered nearby villa or if it was associated with the one at Angmering.

The planting of trees on the top of Highdown Hill in 1892 revealed a Saxon burial ground. One of the earliest sites discovered in Sussex, the graves of in excess of 85 people were found. More recently, the site was used as a beacon point during the Spanish Armada and a radar station was constructed here during the Second World War.