Chosen by John Mills, Senior Archaeologist, West Sussex County Council
Archival records provide a vital resource for archaeological research, as maps, plans, photographs, and many other records document the historical topography of the county. The Record Office also holds examples of the research and reports generated through archaeological study, and copies of the Sussex Archaeological Society’s journal ‘Sussex Archaeological Collections’.
The record featured here, however, derives from records of the Sussex Archaeological Research Committee, and is a book of 6-inch scale maps copied in 1954 by the County Council’s Planning Department. This map covers downland around Harrow Hill, north of the village of Patching, where the earliest remains found in the area, shafts of Neolithic flint mines, date from around 6000 years ago.
It shows ancient earthworks with comments attached (‘fine set of lynchets’) and now little-used downland place names, e.g. ‘Loasden’, ‘Leper’s Way’. Handwritten notes accompanying the maps identify each archaeological site and the source of the information, sometimes with diagrams and measurements not found in any other archaeological records.