Cissbury Ring

Owned by the National Trust, Cissbury Ring is the second largest hill fort in the country. With views of Beachy Head and the Isle of Wight, the area is also rich in wildlife and was the site of Neolithic flint mining.

The history of Cissbury is long and grand. In the Neolithic era, the hill which the hillfort surrounds was the most important flint mining area in Sussex. In the Iron-Age, the biggest hillfort in Sussex was constructed which was reinforced at the end of the Roman occupation to defend against invading Saxons, who then may have used the fort to house a mint. As with many hillforts, Cissbury was used as a beacon site, before being being used again for military purposes during WWII when the camp was fortified with gun emplacements. The site eventually fell into the hands of the National Trust, though despite this ownership, and the fact that the Ring was a Scheduled Ancient Monument and important for its wildlife, some politicians attempted to put a road through it, which fortunately failed.

Along with nearby Chanctonbury Ring, The Devil is named as the creator of Cissbury Ring. Whilst digging Devil's Dyke, he threw clods of earth around which when they landed, created various earthworks in Sussex including Cissbury Ring, Chanctonbury Ring and Mount Caburn. The other creative force, named for the building of the fort by the local population was Caeser himself. Whether this is true folk memory of the later Roman occupation of the fort or an interpretation of the name of the fort is unknown, though in 1663 the fort was noted as being called "Cesars Bury".