Archaeology South-East


Seaford Head

Seaford Head is an archaeologically important Chalk Downland landscape in East Sussex at risk of coastal erosion. ASE is working with local groups on plans to engage people in Seaford’s heritage.

Seaford Heritage Vision (2024)

Archaeology South-East is partnering with Seaford Town Council and South Downs National Park Authority as well as local community groups and artists to find out what young people think about their heritage in Seaford, East Sussex. This is to help us plan activities focussing on the town's heritage that also provide young people with the opportunity to acquire new skills and improve their wellbeing. More information on this project coming soon!

This project is funded by UCL Innovation and Enterprise Knowledge Exchange funding and the South Downs National Park Authority.

Seaford Head Rapid Assessment (2022-23)

This project aimed to assess and record the archaeology of Seaford Head before it is lost to coastal erosion. Read the report on our findings: Seaford Head, East Sussex: rapid survey and assessment

Seaford Head features archaeology of multiple periods including a Bronze Age bowl barrow, an Iron Age hillfort and a Second World War reinforced concrete structure. In the last few years there have been significant cliff collapses in the area, which are expected to increase in frequency and severity with predicted rises in rainfall and storm events related to climate change. Using a combination of non-intrusive archaeological techniques, including desk-based analysis of historic maps, and aerial, topographic and geophysical survey, this project aimed to assess and record the threatened heritage on Seaford Head.

Survey is already underway! Copyright: Chip Creative.

The project acts as a replicable template for other heritage agencies, landowners, and community groups facing similar threats to their local heritage to help plan and deliver local responses. It also trialled the use of digital tools to engage local communities, starting a conversation about coastal change and its wider implications. The report will be available to the public very soon.

The team produced short films introducing the project and the project's results, and worked with local artist Alinah Azedeh on a spoken word performance called If You Can Imagine. A podcast episode was made with archaeologists, town councillors, heritage professionals and more talking about Seaford Head and the wider issues facing our sector. You can watch a video introduction to the podcast episode, listen to the discussion or read the transcript, or find it wherever you get your podcasts by searching Archaeology South-East Digs Deeper.

Our efforts to capture the coastal heritage of Seaford Head attracted the attention of the media, with Jon Sygrave, project lead for ASE, featuring on BBC South East Today. Read some of the stories below.

Project manager Jon Sygrave was interviewed on BBC South East.

The project was funded by Historic England with contributions from the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA). It draws together the expertise of archaeologists from Archaeology South-East (UCL), artists and videographers along with several key stakeholders, principally Seaford Town Council, the SDNPA and Historic England.