CIfA2018 excursions

There are four excursions taking place during conference on Thursday 26 April. More information about these are found below.

Delegates are advised to reserve a place in advance by emailing conference [at]

Collaborative approaches to managing cultural heritage in challenging landscapes

Depart Brighton Racecourse at 9.00 and return by 13.30
Organiser: Nicola Peacock, South Downs National Park Authority

The hilltop enclosure at Belle Tout is one of a number of nationally important archaeological sites located along the iconic Seven Sisters cliffs. It is a complex site not only for its archaeology (the date and nature of which been the subject of much debate) but also in terms of the pressures and demands which it faces. Situated within the South Downs National Park and on the Heritage Coast, the ownership of Belle Tout is split between the National Trust and Eastbourne Borough Council. Approaches to conservation here must take into account not only its cultural heritage significance as a Scheduled Monument, but also its ecological significance as part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest, in particular for rare chalk heath and migratory birds. The site experiences huge numbers of visitors – the adjacent Visitor Centre at Birling Gap receives over 700,000 visitors every year – placing intense recreational pressures on the monument alongside damaging activities like illicit metal detecting. And this all set to a background of ongoing loss of the monument at half a metre each year (more than four hectares have been lost over the last 150 years) due to coastal erosion. Here the challenges go beyond the protection which legislation and regulation can afford, requiring concerted, collaborative and innovative solutions.

Accessibility: There are accessible toilets at Birling Gap visitor centre where the coach will park. The main car park is very well worn tarmac and uneven. Access up to the site for the field trip includes a c. 200m steep ascent up uneven footpaths, so is not suitable for wheelchairs. The total length of the walk is likely to be approximately 1km. The visit is intended to be outside for the whole time and delegates should wear suitable footwear and clothing.

Rapid recording and monitoring on the foreshore

Depart Brighton Racecourse at 14.00 and return by 17.30
Organisers: Lara Band & Oliver Hutchinson (CITiZAN)

At Bishopstone Tidemills, 30 minutes east of Brighton, are the remains of WWI Seaplane base, a village last inhabited in the 1930s and a children’s hospital. The site is the focus of a long running community archaeology project by Sussex Archaeology Society and since 2016 the site of a collaboration between CITiZAN and University of Brighton’s Faculty of Arts and Design – bringing archaeology to non-traditional audiences. After a tour of the site and discussion of SAS and CITiZAN work there, attendees will learn how to use the CITiZAN app to record and monitor coastal and intertidal archaeology.

Please download the app and sign up as a CITiZAN surveyor before the trip: see for details. If you don't have a suitable device we'll also be showing the paper based version of our rapid recording forms so you won’t miss out!

Excluding journey time, we’ll spend 2 hours at the site. Places are free but limited and must be booked in advance as a coach will be hired for the trip. A café and toilets are c 1km from the site, near the coach parking. Access to the site is along a former railway track infilled with shingle.

The cultural and natural heritage of Whitehawk Camp causewayed enclosure

Walking tour departing Brighton Racecourse at 14.00 and returning at 15.30, and 16.00 and returning at 17.30
Organisers: Dr Matt Pope (Principal Research Fellow, UCL/ASE), Jon Sygrave (Project Manager, ASE), Paul Gorringe (Park Ranger, Brighton and Hove City Council)

Whitehawk Camp is one of the largest and more complex Early Neolithic Causewayed Enclosure sites in the country. It has four definite, and possibly up to six, circuits of ditches and banks covering a minimum 6ha area. Whitehawk Camp was one of the first monuments of its type to be identified and excavations in the 1920s and 30s showed it to be particularity rich in finds. Over the last 200 years urban development has increasingly impacted this important monument to the point it became forgotten by the local community.
Whitehawk Hill is also an ancient habitat designated a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) with areas of species-rich chalk grassland supporting colonies of Adonis and Chalkhill Blue butterflies and orchids. Ancient chalk grassland is internationally important – it is one of Britain’s rarest and richest habitats, but without conservation management, it will give way to brambles and rough scrub.

Guided tour of 'The Keep'

17.30 – 18.15
Organiser: Sophie Unger, East Sussex County Council

The Keep is a world-class centre for archives that opens up access to all the collections of the East Sussex Record Office (ESRO), the Royal Pavilion and Museums Local History Collections and the internationally significant University of Sussex Special Collections, bringing together a detailed record of the region’s history, dating back over 900 years. It is also a centre of excellence for conservation and preservation. The archives document the lives of individuals, places and events from across the county and beyond, and they include written records, maps and plans, prints and drawings, photographs and films, oral histories, and digital and electronic records.
The Keep is situated on the edge of Brighton just off the A27 near to the University Campuses and the Amex Stadium, just a 10 minute walk from Falmer railway station.
Delegate will need to make their own way there.

The Keep, Woollards Way, Brighton, BN1 9BP

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
Power Steele Building, Wessex Hall
Whiteknights Road, Earley,
Reading RG6 6DE

0118 966 2841
admin [at]