Possible ritual shaft at Belle Tout. A fall of the chalk cliff revealed a shaft about 4ft diameter, running from the top to bottom of the cliff (some 140ft high) and which apparently went below the present wave-cut platform at sea-level. The shaft showed foot-holds opposite one another at 18 inch intervals. The upper part was full of soil, but impossible to excavate due to the danger of further cliff falls. Stratification of the upcast at the top of the cliff shows the shaft to be later than the early Beaker enclosure in which it is situated. The earthwork trace of the shaft entrance was mapped from RAF aerial photographs taken in 1946 prior to erosion and loss of the feature. This was mapped as part of the English Heriage: South Downs NMP project.
Prehistory (before 43AD)
The earliest date of the feature, as a year, if known
The latest date of the feature, as a year, if known