In 1997, as part of the Hamsey Parish Millennium Map Project, a small group of residents embarked upon a journey of discovery to better understand the past history of their parish. A series of lectures was organised and it was noted during County Archaeologist, Martin Brown’s talk on 'Sites and Monuments' that most listed sites occurred on the southern downland area of the parish. The group wondered what existed in the central area and following a talk on ‘Community Archaeology’ by Chris Butler, leader of the Mid-Sussex Field Archeology Team (MSFAT), they attended two of his day schools, one on fieldwalking the other on prehistoric flintwork.

Over the following years the group have identified suitable arable fields for this project and sought permission from the owners to conduct their studies. Some fields have been walked systematically and in others a random collection was made. Three 'special' projects have been carried out with the help of MSFAT. A mesolithic hunting camp has been discovered and several medieval sites identified. All these will be added to the Historical Environment Records (HER). A brief summary of existing HER records appears on these pages.

As part of the Barcombe and Hamsey Project a series of test-pits were dug in August 2005 by members of MSFAT and local residents. In Hamsey parish certain houses were targeted where it was thought there might be an earlier settlement. These included houses which have been dated by Annabelle Hughes, Historic Buildings Consultant, as part of the project. They range from the earliest house, Highwell 1400 to Tulleys Well 1735. Also included were some 19th century houses where we know from the Hamsey Manor Map of 1752 (ESRO MOB 1699) that earlier houses existed. Twelve sites were visited over two weekends with a variety of finds coming to light.

An assemblage of over 3,000 pieces of worked flint, 324 sherds of Roman pottery and 3,790  sherds of medieval pottery were recovered during the fieldwork and test-pitting in Hamsey parish.

The accompanying flintwork reports have been written by Chris Butler and Luke Barber, Research Officer at Sussex Archaeological Society, has undertaken the pottery identification.

More detailed information on the Hamsey Archaeology project has been deposited in the Sussex Archaeological Society Library, Barbican House, Lewes where it can be consulted by researchers.

MSFAT members fieldwalking at Sadler's Skirts

©2007 Sussex Archaeological Society


Fieldwalking & Special Projects


Historical Environments Records