Chanctonbury Ring — Washington, Sussex

Iron Age Hillfort and RBt

Iron-Age Hillfort

A small pear-shaped fort dating to 400 – 300BC. It has a single rampart of dump contruction, and an external ditch, with some extra defences to the west and east, and a simple entrance gap on the south-west. The appoaches along the spur to the west and south-east are barred by cross-dykes, positioned some 440 yards (400m) away from the main defences. Among the beech trees planted in the interior of the fort during the 18th century can be seen a small, rectangular, Romano-British temple of the 1st or 2nd century. It has a rectangular cella or shrine with walls of flint and mortar surrounded by a rectangular outer enclosure or temenos.

Map References for Chanctonbury Ring – Washington, Sussex

NGRef: TQ139121 OSMap: LR198

Chanctonbury Ring Temple

Temple Or Shrine

Romano-British Temple – Chanctonbury 1

A square Romano-British temple lies within the defences of an Iron-Age hillfort. The temple portico measures around 52 x 46 feet with plastered walls of flint and mortar c.2 ft. thick, the cella measures 30 x 23 feet with thicker walls of the same construction, c.3 ft. thick. It would appear that the hillfort enclosure served the function of a temenos. Built in the 3rd century, the temple went out of use during the 4th; it probably faced east. (Type Ib, or Ic)

Polygonal Temple – Chanctonbury 2

There is another polygonal shrine within the defences of the hillfort about 67 ft. south of the square temple. In plan the building appears pear-shaped, with a 'bulb' around 30 ft. in diameter, and a 'neck' – presumably containing the entrance – aligned to the east.

References for Chanctonbury Ring Temple

Temples in Roman Britain by M.J.T. Lewis (Cambridge 1966).Temples in Roman Britain by M.J.T. Lewis (Cambridge 1966). Temples in Roman Britain by M.J.T. Lewis (Cambridge 1966).Temples in Roman Britain by M.J.T. Lewis (Cambridge 1966).

Roman Roads near Chanctonbury Ring Temple

None identified