Selsey Bill Settlement

Probable Settlement

The Iron-Age settlement at Selsey Bill was once a primary centre of the Atrebatean culture, but much is now lost to the eroding effects of the sea, along with any evidence of its possible Romano-British history. This Belgic centre was superceded by the Romano-British Belgic tribal civitas at Chichester/Noviomagus, which lay some 7 miles inland from Selsey but still within the boundaries of the old Atrebatean oppidum, the outermost ancient defences of which, now known as the “Chichester Dykes”, lie some three miles to the north of the Roman city and run from east to west across the southern edge of the South Downs, once enclosing a substantial tract of arable farmland from the Chichester Channel to beyond Bognor Regis. Aside from this series of dykes across the peninsula, further evidence for Selsey’s past importance comes in the form of many Atrebatean gold coins, along with odd pieces of gold, which have been washed-up along the shoreline through the ages; all indicative of the presence of a tribal mint, the only other one attributed to this tribe being at Silchester/Calleva.

There is a villa about three miles north at Sidlesham (SZ8597) on the road to Noviomagus (Chichester).

References for Selsey Bill

  • Historical Map and Guide – Roman Britain by the Ordnance Survey (3rd, 4th & 5th eds., 1956, 1994 & 2001);
  • Iron Age Communities in Britain by Barry Cunliffe (London, 1974);
  • Town and Country in Roman Britain by A.L.F. Rivet (London, 1958).

Roman Roads near Selsey Bill

N (7) to Noviomagvs Regnorvm (Chichester, West Sussex)

Sites near Selsey Bill Settlement