|Just what the earthwork atop Wolstonbury Hill is remains a matter of intrigue.
Following some the links posted here will give further information on the various archaeological interpretations.
Since I moved to this area I have found the shape and presence of this hill more thought provoking than any of the other prominences on the South Downs.
What is up here for sure is a large oval earthwork covering some 2.2 hectares with an inner ditch. There is also a faint oval earthwork within the area of the main 'rampart', a 1994 survey revealed the presence of a third enclosure sandwiched between the two!
A cross ridge dyke and the remains of two round mounds lie just to the South East of the main enclosure.
The interior of the enclosure has been pock-marked by 18th - 19th century flint quarrying, with lots of pits evident. There is also a large quarry on the North East slope of the hill.
Views across the Weald to the North are panoramic, to the East are the Clayton Windmills and Ditchling Beacon beyond. Hollingbury is prominent to the South East.
Look West and you see Newtimber Hill, West Hill with Devils Dyke just beyond. Beyond that, Chanctonbury Ring is sticking it's tree lined head up.
The National Trust currently grazes a herd of some ancient breed of cow on the hill. Long spiky horns, but they are friendly and look more fitting than a bunch of modern aggro dairy cows!
This is surely one of the South Downs most enigmatic monuments and its remoteness means that solitude is easier to come by than at places like Devils Dyke and Ditchling Beacon. A splendid place for sunset contemplation.
Access: It is a good half hours walk from your car to the top of the hill.
Easiest approach is to park at The Plough pub in Pyecombe and approach from the South. This will take you past the two barrows and cross ridge dyke.
If approaching from the North you can park in the lanes at the foot of the hill (turning at Jack and Jill pub on A273) and there are several paths up. If you are feeling energetic, take what I call the 'pilgrims' steps up the North face. Steps have been cut into this path at some point, but it is still quite steep. Guaranteed to invoke an 'altered state of consciousness' by the time you reach the summit!! (ie: knackered!)
Posted by danielspaniel
9th May 2005ce
Edited 28th June 2005ce