About Cissbury Ring
Cissbury Ring is the largest hill fort in Sussex, the second largest in England and one of the largest in Europe overall, covering some 60 acres (24 hectares). The earthworks that form the fortifications were built around the beginning of the Middle Iron-Age possibly around 250 BC but abandoned in the period 50 BC - 50 AD.
The site of the fort contains a Neolithic mine, one of the first flint mines in Britain. Around 200 shafts were dug into Cissbury hill over around 900 years of use. Shafts were up to 12 metres (39 ft) deep with 7 metres (23 ft) diameters at the surface. Up to eight galleries extended outwards from the bottoms of the shafts, often interconnecting with one another.
The ditches and banks are the remains of a defensive wall that enclosed 65 acres (260,000 m2) of land; the inner band of the wall is over a mile around. The ditches are said to be as deep as three metres and were filled with loosened chalk and covered with timber palisade. The 600 foot (184 m) hill is open to the public. From the top, one is able to see to the west Selsey, Chichester Cathedral, the Spinnaker Tower and the Isle of Wight. To the east, one is able to see Brighton, the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head.
When Worthing Golf Club Ltd. was formed in 1903, included within the land it purchased was Cissbury Ring and the beech copse immediately to the south, the “Cissbury Plantation”.
In 1935 ownership of this land was transferred to The National Trust.
Cissbury Plantation is typical of many such “Plantations” to be found all along the north scarp of the South Downs. All are a product of Victorian rural ideology.
Most recently, Cissbury Ring now forms part of the South Downs National Park.