Lost hunting lodge

Finding the Earl of Arundel’s Lost Hunting Lodge

This Exhibition will be coming later in the Year

Close to the Museum, high up on the Downs north-west of Singleton, an important archaeological excavation has been taking place. Mark Roberts, who discovered Boxgrove Man, is leading the work.

In 2014 the Tutor for Fieldwork at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, Mark Roberts, designed a project to discover the lost hunting lodge of the Earls of Arundel at Downley, Singleton, West Sussex.

The project became the field training course for the Institute of Archaeology’s undergraduate and postgraduate students. Four seasons of excavation, post-excavation analysis and research have been carried out, during which time the significance and importance of this multi-period site have grown considerably.

This very local site in the South Downs, is to the north west of Singleton village. The topography of the site is consistent with that found across the downland dipslope, with highland areas and coombes (valleys), which drain southwards to the coastal plain. The topography is virtually unchanged since the end of the last glacial period (ice age) 12,000 years ago, and the chalk surface exhibits periglacial features in the form of stripes, on the north facing slopes.

The lodge sits within the Downley deer park, demarcated by a park pale consisting of an internal ditch and external bank, upon which the paling would have been set. The park has a circumference of 6.622km and an area of 261.7ha. Today the area that comprises the park is part of the National Trust’s Drovers’ Estate, and marches with the Cowdray Estate to the north and the West Dean Estate to the south and west. Fine out more about the finds as they have unfolded, including and update from the 2022 dig.

Information for Visitors

The Museum’s 40 acres site, historic gardens and buildings are fascinating places to learn about rural history. Visitors can purchase grain from the Shepherds Hut (coffee cart) and feed the hungry ducks on the mill pond. Whilst enjoying the great outdoors and fresh air, look out for the heavy horses and other traditional breed farm animals including pigs, chickens and geese. There are a number of lovely woodland trails, including a woodland play area for children to explore.

Our waterside café will be open or visitors can bring a picnic as there are plenty of picnic areas available on site. Takeaway refreshments will be available from our Shepherd’s Hut (coffee cart) located near the Stables. Dogs on leads are welcome and there is ample free parking. Please note that the Museum is a no-smoking site. Visitors with access needs are advised to read our accessibility page in advance of their visit.

All activities are subject to change.

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Wed 6 December 2023–Fri 1 March 2024