Keys to the Past


Causewayed enclosure; Causewayed camp

These are early Neolithic enclosures. They are roughly rounded in shape - though are bounded by segmental banks and ditches, pits or scoops, with wide causeways acting as entrances/exits to/from the centre. In plan the standard causewayed enclosure will look like a link of several sausages arranged in a circle, or concentric circles. The pits and mounds were large - but were only slight in their respective dimensions of height and depth.

Causewayed enclosures are common to central southern England. Elsewhere there are such monuments around The Fens eastern England. They are common at boundaries of land types, or land-water boundaries, with wide views. These were used as ritual monuments like henges as extensive pottery and animal remains are often found in their excavation.

Probable examples have been noted at Hastings Hill, near Sunderland (Tyne and Wear) and Lookout Farm, Seaton Sluice (Northumberland) by aerial photography and excavated at South Shields, (Tyne and Wear) - though this identification is only slight, being based upon two shallow pits, (which need not necessitate a whole enclosure), - positions which need not be out of place for land-water locations. The usefulness of the term has recently been reviews, which includes other enclosures may be more relevant for northern Britain.

To explore more glossary entries click on a letter.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Z 1-9