Volunteer with Heritage Eastbourne

Archaeology in Eastbourne

Over 8,000 years of history waiting to be discovered

Heritage Eastbourne organises an archaeological dig every year to uncover some of the hidden stories from Eastbourne's past.

From Roman ruins under the Carpet Gardens to delving into medieval Dovecotes and ancient downland burial mounds, there is plenty to discover under our feet.

Keen historians can volunteer and gain valuable experience at each dig, or simply visit to watch the painstaking process and discover what fascinating treasures have been unearthed.

Neolithic Enclosure at Butts Brow 2020

We will be returning to Butts Brow this Summer to uncover more about our Neolithic ancestors at Butts Brow and explore our Downland heritage. The excavation will run from 13th July - 2nd August. Join us for daily tours of the site at 11am and get involved in prehistoric experimental archaeology on 18 July

In 2016, we started investigating an intriguing earthwork that appears to surround the hilltop above the Butts Brow car park near Willingdon.

A ditch was found to run around the hilltop with an associated bank made up of chalk, dug out of the ditch, but whether this barrier was complete or broken by openings is still unclear.

At this stage we believe that this was most likely created in the distant Neolithic era, around 5,000-6,000 years ago, when our ancestors were slowly starting to adopt a more settled lifestyle, beginning to farm and also clearing the Downs of trees.

It wouldn’t appear that this enclosure was defensive or that it contained settlement (the lack of many finds from daily life would support the latter) but perhaps it was built for more esoteric reasons. The Neolithic was an era of monument building with the first major flourishing of organised, large scale ritualistic and religious behaviour.

It is very possible that what we have at Butts Brow is connected in some way to the nearby Neolithic Causewayed Enclosure at Combe Hill....time will tell.

Eastbourne's Roman Villa

Find out more about the search for Eastbourne's Roman Villa at the Carpet Gardens in 2016.

 Roman Villa



Are you interested in getting involved? Contact us for more information!