Archaeologists hope to uncover secrets of Eastbourne’s ‘mysterious mound’

Beehive Plantation SUS-160726-142253001
Beehive Plantation SUS-160726-142253001
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Archaeologists are hoping to uncover the secrets of a mysterious mound on the South Downs this week.

Heritage Eastbourne has begun an excavation at a possible prehistoric or medieval earthworks site on the edge of the South Downs National Park.

The downland dig on the outskirts of Eastbourne will determine the age of the mound, as well as investigating a possible ancient burial site nearby.

Located just above Willington at Butts Brow, the site – known as the Beehive Plantation – previously belonged to the Ratton Estate. This is the first time it has ever been investigated.

Archaeological enthusiasts and walkers can explore the site on a daily tour or join in a guided Landscape Walk on August 6 to discover more archaeological stories, treasures and scenic sites.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said “We’re really excited to see what we find here. The location and shape do hint at prehistoric or medieval origin, although there is a possibility we could simply unearth some 18th Century landscaping of the Ratton Estate.”

The results of the dig will determine the future management of what could potentially be a historic monument. The project runs until August 9 from 9am to 5pm each day, with free daily tours at 10am and 2pm (no booking required).

East Sussex County Council archaeologist Greg Chuter will also lead a free guided walk on August 6 at 2.15pm from Butts Brow to Coombe Hill, exploring the archaeology of the area and understanding the bigger picture around the excavation.

To book, email localhistory@eastbourne.gov.uk or call 07415 208458.

Keen historians can also monitor the dig via the daily site diary updated each evening on the Heritage Eastbourne Faceboook page, along with a timelapse video available at the end of the dig.

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