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Profile of a grubenhausEvidence for Anglo-Saxon settlement is far scarcer than for cemeteries, with only a small number being partly excavated. The most extensive is the 5th century hilltop site at Bishopstone, where up to sixty structures may have existed, although only a limited number have been excavated. The site is especially interesting as it exhibits a distinct discontinuity with the late Romano-British settlement, implying that the previous inhabitants may have been forcibly removed.

The buildings themselves mostly consisted of post-built structures, although three were of a sunken type known as a grubenhaus, which were often associated with craft working.
Two grubenhaus have recently been found at Westhampnett just to the east of Chichester, suggesting that there was an early Saxon settlement there, possibly connected with the cemetery at Appledown.


Excavation of a grubenhaus at Chichester, January 2001Other settlements are suggested at sites like Selmeston, where loomweights and pottery were found near to the early Saxon cemetery. We can also use place-name evidence to speculate on the existence of early Saxon settlements in Sussex. Those with the suffix -ham (e.g. Patcham) may well have been founded in the 5th or 6th century AD, while those with -ingas (e.g. Hastings) are probably only slightly later.