Chanctonbury Ring, Washington
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Chanctonbury Ring is a prehistoric hill fort atop Chanctonbury Hill on the South Downs, on the border of the civil parishes of Washington and Wiston in the English county of West Sussex. A ridgeway, now part of the South Downs Way, runs along the hill. It forms part of an ensemble of associated historical features created over a span of more than 2,000 years, including round barrows dating from the Bronze Age to the Saxon periods and dykes dating from the Iron Age and Roman periods.Plan your visit to Chanctonbury Ring and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Washington trip planner .
Consisting of a roughly circular low earthen rampart surrounded by a ditch, Chanctonbury Ring is thought to date to the late Bronze Age or early Iron Age. The purpose of the structure is unknown but it could have filled a variety of roles, including a defensive position, a cattle enclosure or even a religious shrine. After a few centuries of usage, it was abandoned for about five hundred years until it was reoccupied during the Roman period. Two Romano-British temples were built in the hill fort's interior, one of which may have been dedicated to a boar cult.
After its final abandonment around the late fourth century AD, the hill fort remained unoccupied save for grazing cattle until a mid-18th century landowner decided to plant a ring of beech trees around its perimeter to beautify the site. They became a famous local landmark until largely being destroyed in the Great Storm of 1987. Periodic replanting on a number of occasions to replace old or destroyed trees has afforded archaeologists the opportunity to carry out a series of excavations which have revealed much about the history of the site.
Chanctonbury Ring Reviews
The views from the top at Chanctonbury Ring can be quite spectacular on a clear day, and it is a really lovely walk up to the top from the car park below. There is often a lot of nature to be seen on ... more »
We have recently discovered the delights of the Chanctonbury Ring and would recommend it to anyone who is able to walk a couple of miles. While some reviews have described the first part from the car ... more »
A good exercising climb up for a wonderfully rewarding walk in the fresh air with stunning views over land and sea.
Steep climb from the north side - wonderful views.
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