The Seven Sisters in prehistory

South Downs, Managing our downland landscape South Downs Managing our downland landscape
A view from flag staff looking back towards Belle Tout

After the last Ice Age the environment in what is now known as Britain was more wooded then at present. Mesolithic people roamed the countryside hunting wild animals and gathering fruits and nuts. The landscape probably did not change much apart from some small-scale clearance for open spaces.

Prehistory

Around 4000BCE farming was gradually introduced with the cultivation of cereals and the rearing of livestock. Flint mining was industrialised during this period and the tools were used for most everyday tasks. 

Two of the flint scrapers found at Crowlink
Two of the flint scrapers found at Crowlink
Two of the flint scrapers found at Crowlink

Neolithic flint work has been found on the Seven Sisters including serrated blades and axe rough outs. There are no long barrows along the Seven Sisters (as far as we can tell) but they are present around Alfriston and Eastbourne. 

The Seven Sister area must have been a buy place in the Bronze Age. Many round barrows, pottery fragments and worked flints have been recorded. On Belle Tout there is evidence of occupation by the Beaker people click to read the banks and beakers report.

The ramparts on Belle Tout
The ramparts looking in land.
The ramparts on Belle Tout

The date of the large earthworks on Belle Tout is still not known for sure, there is a possibility they are medieval in origin. This important site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and we manage it to preserve the archaeology..

Archaeological pit in the ramparts
Archaeological pit in the ramparts
Archaeological pit in the ramparts