Archaeology Brighton Castle Hill Local history Newmarket Bottom Newmarket Hill WWII

New WWII Archaeology on the Downs?

Really excited that after a walk to Castle Hill nature reserve, on the side of Newmarket Hill, I may have found some new archaeology!

At TQ36470682, just above the edge of the steep sided Newmarket Bottom, was a spread of small (about 1cm diameter) pebbles associated with a 5m diameter roughly levelled off platform. It was sited just at the point of maximum visibility down into the valley bottom.

Apparently during the Second World War there was a particular concern that paratroopers would drop down into remote downland valleys at night. Therefore big lights were stationed at suitable positions to spot them.

I have as yet no idea what they looked like, but I have been informed there was one on the corner of the Falmer Road looking down into Bevendean valley.

I guess the next thing to do is to pass these details on to the East Sussex Historic Environment Record Officer (HER), who is based in Lewes.

Most of the Downs beyond Brighton were requisitioned by the armed forces during the last war. There should certainly be lots of archaeology dating to this time. Only since I started to study the history of Newmarket Farm have I become aware of the importance of modern archaeology, and how easily it can be lost.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s