Elaine Evans Archaeology Gallery (Brighton Museum): Hollingbury Hillfort

Client – Brighton Museum Elaine Evans Archaeology Gallery

Draft Modelling – Matthew Jackson

CGI – Grant Cox (ArtasMedia)

Programs used – 3DS Max/Vray/Photoshop

Hollingbury was an Iron Age Hill Fort that was built around 250 BC. It was originally classified between 450-250BC, dated from initial excavation of pottery on site by the Brighton and Hove Archaeological club during March and April 1931 (Curwen 1932: 1). However, this date was later revised. It is important to note that at the time of the original excavation, it was pioneering work as there had not been a lot of previous knowledge on the period.

In order to understand more about the site, it was re-examined over three seasons in 1967, 1968 & 1969 by the Brighton and Hove Archaeological Society. Among other insights, this gave some more information about the internal huts that were part of the camp and more can be read in an article by John Holmes (1984), referenced at the bottom of this post. 

The site itself is situated in a prominent hill position around 2 miles north of Brighton Pier. The camp had two original entrances, one to the east and one to the west and covers a 9.2 acre area with defensive ramparts of around 8-10ft. The huts found in later excavation show that the settlement was permanent and not just a refuge. Hollingbury is considered as one of the great Iron Age Hill Forts built in Sussex.

To create a reconstruction, a base model inside of 3DS Max was built using maps and illustrations from excavation reports. These included information about ditch heights and also provided foot prints for post holes and reconstructed drawings of how the ramparts might be constructed. These were then discussed and evaluated by representatives from the museum at all stages in the process. More information will be posted at a later date in a ‘making of’ post. If you wish to find out more, visit the new gallery at Brighton Museum, or check their online website.

Cecil Curwen, 1932Excavations at Hollingbury Camp, Sussex‘, Antiq. Jnl. 12, 1-16.

John Holmes, 1984Excavations at Hollingbury Camp, Sussex, 1967-9‘, Sussex Archaeological Collections 122, 29-53.