Looking North towards Brighton Race Course. The centre of the enclosure is on the Southern side of Manor Hill (Road) just in front of the Grandstand.
I was going to post about Whitehawk more than a year ago after I volunteered for the dig which took place there in August 2014. I refrained from doing so at the time as I was supposed to be photographing (for Brighton Museum) the ‘more interesting artefacts’ which they hoped to uncover in the process of the dig. Sadly, despite intensive digging in 3 separate areas on Whitehawk Hill nothing particularly interesting was found. Geo-physics had shown up some anomalies on the Southern side of the hill which the archaeologists hoped might be a fifth outer ring, but this proved to be unfounded. Most of the very small things found were pieces of worked flints (possibly Neolithic), masses of broken glass, the inevitable willow-pattern ceramics shards and miscellaneous bits of ironware which were probably bits of broken gardening tools (most of the hill has been given over to allotments in the past and still is today). I personally found a 1945 farthing which back then would have bought you a whole house in Brighton. The other thing that was found in abundance were pieces of relatively modern cars and scooters which is quite interesting in itself. The practice of sacrificing expensive offerings to the gods on this site was still happening in the here and now, a clearly continuing tradition, except now they like to torch them first rather than burying them or flinging them into a watery place.
There’s not much to suggest that you’re standing in a Causewayed Enclosure when you’re up there as most of it has been encroached upon by modern housing, allotments and the enlargement of Brighton Race Course, but here and there you’ll notice a slight undulation, a small squeak to remind you of the sheer scale of the site. The positioning of it too, is wonderful and a true focal point, commanding expansive views over the sea and South Downs of which it forms part. The panoramic images posted here were commissioned recently by Brighton Museum for educational purposes to highlight the importance of this truly ancient and wonderful place.
The radio mast on the peak of Whitehawk Hill and the sea beyond.
The view West from Whitehawk Hill looking down on Brighton & Hove.
The dip in the railings of the run-off track indicates the forth, and possibly, outermost ring of the enclosure.