Cissbury Hill

Findon, Worthing, Sussex


NGRef: TQ139080
OSMap: LR198
Sitetype: Nfm/IAf

Iron-Age Hillfort

This great ovoid hillfort probably dates to c.350BC; its rampart, 9m wide, comprises 60,000 tons of chalk, with an external ditch 6m wide, and faced with a wall of up to 12,000 vertical timbers at least 4m high. There was a minor counterscarp bank, and entrances on the S and E. Finds include: weaving equipment, pottery, iron tools and a hoard of hundreds of beach-pebble slingstones. The fort was abandoned before the Romans arrived, and its interior was already under the plough when the defences were renewed against the Saxon threat. To the W of the Fort and outside its S entrance (TQ:137079) , what now appear as merely overgrown hollows are actually the remains of around 250 blocked mine shafts which were sunk down 12m through 6 seams of flint to reach the quality stone; galleries radiate out at this level. The work was done with antler picks (radiocarbon dated to c2700BC), scapula shovels and chalk lamps. Two shafts were found to contain skeletons; one a young man surrounded by chalk blocks, the other a young woman who seems to have fallen in. The fort is suppose to be the site of a fairy dance-floor at midnight every midsummer's eve. There is a Romano-British temple nearby at Findon.