Cissbury Ring Burh

Has been described as a Questionable Urban Defence

There are earthwork remains

NameCissbury Ring Burh
Alternative NamesCissbury Knot
Historic CountrySussex
Modern AuthorityWest Sussex
1974 AuthorityWest Sussex
Civil ParishWorthing

Hillfort of probable Iron Age date enclosing an area of circa 60 acres. The ramparts partially enclose Neolithic flint mines. (PastScape)

Bond list this as a C11 Anglo-Saxon Burh.

It has been suggested that Cissbury was once the site of a Saxon mint. Coins bearing the mint signatures Sithe, Sithsteb and Sithmes have been found on coins of Ethelred II and Cnut (1009-1023) and by their distribution it is thought that they were minted in an area between Lewes and Chichester. The use of old forts for mints is not unknown, when nearby mints are moved there during dangerous times, though there has been no archaeological confirmation of the mint at Cissbury. (Sussex Archaeology and Folklore online)

Gatehouse Comments

A mint of itself was not a large operation and the extensive excavations of Cissbury could have missed it but mints are usually found in association with high status residences or, as it seems Bond is assuming, an urban site and it seems unlikely that evidence of substantive Saxon occupation would have been missed. However it appears to be argued the mint was an emergency and temporary construction. It seems likely that Cissbury lacked a sufficiently good water supply to be a residential base, particularly during the relatively warm period of the C11-C13. Wherever the location of the Sithe mint it seems unlikely Cissbury was a Saxon urban centre.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ139080
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  • Bond, C.J., 1987, 'Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Defences' in Schofield, J. and Leech, R. (eds) Urban Archaeology in Britain (CBA Research Report 61) p. 92-116 online copy
  • Wilson, David M., 1976, The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England p. 140



  • Curwen, E. Cecil, 'A Saxon Mint at Cissbury?' Sussex notes and queries Vol. 15 p. 134-5