Trundle (hill fort)

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The Trundle
The Trundle 1.jpg
View of the Trundle
Location The Trundle in West Sussex, England
Coordinates 50°53′33″N 0°45′14″W / 50.892585°N 0.753894°W / 50.892585; -0.753894Coordinates: 50°53′33″N 0°45′14″W / 50.892585°N 0.753894°W / 50.892585; -0.753894
Area 5.66 hectares (14.0 acres)
Built Iron Age
Reference no. 246354[1]
Trundle (hill fort) is located in Chichester District
Trundle (hill fort)
Location of The Trundle

Trundle (Old English: Tryndel, meaning "circle"[2][3]) is an Iron Age hill fort on Saint Roche's Hill about 3 miles (5 km) north of Chichester, Sussex, England.[4] Trundle is one of just four hill forts built in Sussex. The fort was built around a Neolithic causewayed enclosure, of which very little can be seen on the ground.


St. Roche's Hill has been used for several purposes, dating back to the Palaeolithic era.[3] The hill fort was a Neolithic causewayed enclosure before the Iron Age hill fort was built around the pre-existing structure. It is unknown for what purpose the fort was originally built, but the site was used in 1645 by the Clubmen as a military base and subsequently as a beacon site to warn against attack by the French. This beacon was lit in 1745, causing much alarm in the surrounding countryside.[3]

The hill was also the site of a small (around 11x14ft [3]) chapel, until it was left to ruin. It is thought the chapel was built at some point in the 15th century and destroyed during the Reformation.[5] A windmill was also present on the site of the hill-fort. It is not known when it was built, but in 1773, the windmill burnt down in a storm, along with a windmill on Portsdown Hill.[3]

In World War II, it was the site for a radar early warning system.[6]

The summit of St. Roche's Hill is now the site of two large radio masts.[2][3] In June/July 2010, the Trundle was temporary host to 'Artemis', a 30 ft tall bronze sculpture of a horse designed by sculptor Nic Fiddian-Green.[7][8] The sculpture was taken to Australia in 2011.[9]

Archaeological excavations[edit]

During archaeological excavations of the hill fort, numerous objects have been discovered: Middle Iron-Age pottery, potboilers, human bones (an arm bone and a skull), animal bones (ox, horse, pig, dog, cat and sheep), charcoal, various iron objects (including a knife, a spearhead, an adze blade, a sickle, large iron rings and iron slag) and several quern fragments.[3]

See also[edit]