Ancient Monuments

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Croglam Castle defended Iron Age settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.4641 / 54°27'50"N

Longitude: -2.3587 / 2°21'31"W

OS Eastings: 376847.386542

OS Northings: 507689.943307

OS Grid: NY768076

Mapcode National: GBR CJZT.4J

Mapcode Global: WH93M.R203

Entry Name: Croglam Castle defended Iron Age settlement

Scheduled Date: 16 May 1951

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004615

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 193

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Kirkby Stephen

Built-Up Area: Kirkby Stephen

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Kirkby Stephen with Mallerstang and Crosby Garrett with Soulby

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a defended settlement of Iron Age date, situated on the top of a slight hill with views in all directions. The settlement enclosure, also known as Croglam Castle, is preserved as an earthwork and is sub-oval in plan measuring approximately 130m north east to south west by 65m north west to south east. The enclosure is surrounded by a single ditch with a counterscarp bank both of which closely follow the contours of the hill. The ditch measures approximately 12m in width with the external height of the bank measuring about 1m and there is a single entrance on the north east side where the bank increases in size. The form of the earthwork indicates it to be an Iron Age enclosure. The encircling bank is topped by a modern boundary wall, which is excluded from the scheduling; however, the ground beneath the wall is included.

PastScape Monument No:- 14595
Cumbria HER:- 2000

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

During the earlier Iron Age (seventh to fifth centuries BC) a variety of different types of defensive settlements began to be constructed and occupied in the northern uplands of England. The most obvious sites were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition to these a range of smaller sites, sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha and defined as defended settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others are found in less prominent positions. The enclosing defences were of earthen construction, some sites having a single bank and ditch (univallate), others having more than one (multivallate). At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Within the enclosure a number of stone or timber-built round houses were occupied by the inhabitants. Stock may also have been kept in these houses, especially during the cold winter months, or in enclosed yards outside them. The communities occupying these sites were probably single family groups, the defended settlements being used as farmsteads. Construction and use of this type of site extended over several centuries, possibly through to the early Romano-British period (mid to late first century AD). Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element of the later prehistoric settlement pattern of the northern uplands and are important for any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during this period. All well-preserved examples are believed to be of national importance.
Croglam Castle defended Iron Age settlement is well-preserved as an earthwork. The monument will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment and environmental deposits relating to the use of the surrounding landscape. The monument is unusual in occupying a defendable topographic position yet having an internal ditch and outer bank. Therefore the monument provides insight into the diversity of settlement and occupation during the Iron Age.

Source: Historic England

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