from James Dyer's 'Southern England, an archaeological guide'
Today only low hollows indicated where more than a hundred flint mine shafts lie buried beneath the soil. Seven were excavated in the 1920s - they showed that the pits were dug to reach a seam of nodular flint about 3.4m down. From most of the shafts galleries radiated out (as far as daylight permitted them to be worked). As a new gallery was dug the chalk extracted was deposited in one of the already worked galleries. Some shafts contained cremations and burials, and small barrows were built over the filled=up mines.
"From these remains it is possible to deduce that the mines had been worked intermittently for perhaps 500 years through the Neolithic toMiddle Bronze Age. A new shaft dug every five years would have supplied the needs of a small community, traces of whose village were found north east of the mines" (on the other side of the footpath up the hill).