Sites which are 'scheduled' have statutory protection which is administered by English Heritage.

Aerial photographs of the Forest show it to be criss-crossed with the remains of the works of Man. Some of these are Scheduled but many more, of equal antiquity, are not.

Many of the features are of more recent origin; they all have something to say about the occupation of the Forest area.


1. Pillow mounds are the result of (probably) Medieval rabbit (coney) farming

They consist of mounds of earth thrown up to form a bank of varying dimensions but about 5 metres wide by 50 to 100 metres long. Presumably, the warm, dry , easily burrowed ground was ideal for rabbits which were harvested by surrounding the mound with a net and introducing a polecat or ferret. Pillow mounds can be seen on the private land in Pippingford, Broadstone Warren and Hindleap; and on Forest land at Church Hill and near Twyford.


2. Roman roads

Two main stretches of Roman road can be clearly identified crossing the Forest : a major route between London and the south coast runs roughly parallel with the B2026 and an exposed stretch can be viewed at Roman Road car park. The second road travels between Coleman's Hatch and Wych Cross and would have been the link to the Garden Hill complex.

Transport across the Forest area has always been difficult, forcing the routes to follow the drier and less heavily wooded hilltops. Even today, the roads follow the ridges.


3. There are many iron furnace sites on the Forest

The majority of these are early bloomery furnaces. Of these, perhaps the most important is that at Millbrook, which is the only known Saxon iron-working site. Others can be located by the slag residues, for example, halfway down Kidds Hill; they are usually associated with springs or streams. An exception is the enclosure at Chelwood Gate, which was excavated to reveal a late pre-Roman iron works.

More recent and grander furnace sites can also be found : there is a sizeable ironworks in Pippingford (private land), there is a furnace site at Newbridge and a furnace site in Crowborough Warren with a forge site some way downstream (close to the road).


4. Garden Hill is the most important Forest Scheduled Ancient Monument

It was excavated in the 1980's to reveal a Roman villa with bath-house as well as an ironworks. It is thought the Romans exploited an existing iron industry in the locality. Garden Hill also showed evidence of Neolithic occupation which reflects its ideal position with commanding views over the area.


5. One of the oldest remains on the Forest is a tumulus near Four Counties car park

It is thought to be Bronze Age and is locally known as Peat Lump Hill (or Boyletts Boys!).


6. Aerial photographs show many small enclosures

The origin of these is probably lost forever but they may range from Iron Age stock enclosures to Medieval clumps.


7. One series of enclosures which are well recorded are those at King's Standing

They show signs of occupation in prehistoric, Iron Age and Medieval times. It is also the site of New Lodge, a royal hunting lodge from the sixteenth century.


8. Camp Hill clump mounds

The mounds visible below Camp Hill clump are due to disturbance from horse-lines and field kitchens built in 1793 during a great army muster (7,000 men). This event was thought to have been responsible for naming the clump but it occurs in documents at least 200 years earlier.


9. There used to be two packhorse bridges on the Forest

One remains on the Forest boundary below the Crowborough Warren New Mill but the other, over a small stream near Twyford, was stolen about twenty years ago!


10. The grinding of corn in the Forest area was achieved in different periods at different mills

A grind stone can be seen on the roadside by the old mill at Newbridge and the road itself crosses not only the stream but also the "leat" which powered the water wheel. There is a record of a corn-mill, presumably helping to feed the iron workers, at Newbridge in the fifteenth century. The remains of a more recent corn mill (New Mill) can be found on the stream through Crowborough Warren (private land). This was a huge, three storey affair and was working within living memory. Certainly old postcards depict an impressive building and huge lake behind immense dam walls. The building has been totally demolished and the stone recycled - a great tragedy and indictment of architectural conservation bodies.

The opposite side of the preservation coin can be found in the story of the Nutley windmill. Despite falling into disuse in 1908, the Uckfield and District Preservation Society managed to repair it some 65 years later and it can still grind corn today.

Another recently working corn mill can be found in Cackle Street, Boring Wheel Mill. In all four cases, it is interesting to speculate where the corn was grown which justified the construction of the these mills. It is often said that the Forest soils have never been ploughed and even if they were, the low fertility would prevent continued arable production. It is likely that corn production occurred on a very small scale, with individuals producing their own requirements, rather the farming system that we see today.


11. Chelwood Gate ditches and banks

At Chelwood Gate, behind Churlwood car park, there are a series of deep ditches and banks. The origin and purpose of these is unknown, despite them being excavated at the same time as the dig at "Danes Graves" (the enclosure mentioned in 3 above).


12. The exploitation of minerals has left its mark on the Forest

There is the site of a lime kiln by the A22 at Pippingford; there are very many old quarry sites, including a deep quarry face near Dodd's Bank where the Greensand rock has been extracted for building; there are pits and mounds where iron ore or clay, for marling or brick making, have been extracted.


13. Milestones

The milestones on the A22, showing the mileage to London and the Bow Bells are cast iron on oak backboards and were erected in the eighteenth century by East Grinstead Turnpike Trust.


14. Old toll house at Wych Cross

On a similar highway theme, all that remains of the old toll house at Wych Cross is the brick plinth which once displayed the distances to Lewes and other towns on the Lewes Turnpike (A275).


15. Military Sites

The years of army training on the Forest have left many signs: most obvious is the Old Radio Station near Duddleswell cross-roads which started life as a communications facility built by the Canadians (a concrete pillar with an inset maple leaf can be seen from the Poundgate Road just inside the fence) and used by the Foreign Office for broadcasting propaganda and information to Resistance workers during the war. It went through a period as World Service transmitter, undergoing a major refit to become a nuclear fallout shelter and is currently used as a training area for Sussex Police. As late as the mid-eighties there were many masts and aerials on the site, including three which were over four hundred feet tall, which made it a major local landmark; today there is a single squat tower.

Another wartime landmark is the Old Airstrip to the west of the A22. This is a mile long, flat, straight ride which aligns directly into the prevailing wind. There is a second runway clearance running close to and parallel with the A275 near Wych Cross.This second strip has revegetated well and is hard to distinguish. The two runways were built in 1941 and 1943 respectively, for use as emergency landing strips for damaged planes or forward strips to support the invasion of France. It is also possible that they were built to practise constructing air-fields in case those in northern France were all destroyed. There are records of their use - possibly apocryphal - in which a damaged bomber landed but had to be taken away by road and the locals tell of the time when they were recruited to hang onto the tail of a plane to allow it to build up sufficient power to take off. What is certainly true is that once they were built, they had to be defended against use by the enemy and a World War One Vickers Medium Tank was installed near the boundary with the Isle of Thorns as a gun emplacement. A few years ago this was retired to the tank museum but the hole and a few lumps of steel remain.

The most often visited reminder of the war is the Airman's Grave in the Misbourne valley. This is not a grave but a memorial to the bomber crew who crashed here in 1941. On Remembrance Sunday each year a large number of people gather at the Airman's Grave to commemorate those killed in war.

From the Napoleonic Wars onwards, the Forest has been used for training and mustering; there are remains of camps at Chelwood Corner, St. Johns and on the golf course (where there is a commemorative stone). There are rifle ranges near New Pond Cottages and over the Old Lodge boundary. There are the remains of the gas training school near King's Standing and the training trenches, holes and tunnels near the Crow and Gate. There are concrete anti-tank bollards around Duddleswell and slit trenches scattered wherever you least expect them.


16. Living Monuments

If vegetation can be counted in this section, then the holly clump near Smugglers car park marked a spring or well where water could be found (now dried up); this was important in the days of the steam engine which would have exhausted their water supply chugging to the top of the Forest. Also, and in the same area, there used to be three yew trees at Duddleswell cross-roads which indicated a place where hospitality could be found. There are now only two but a replacement third is planned.

The large beech pollard which stood on the border between Hartfield and Withyham parishes, marked HP on one side and WP on the other and the date 1730, finally rotted away only a couple of years ago.

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