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Castle Hill univallate defended settlement, Kirklees Park

A Scheduled Monument in Brighouse, Calderdale

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.6913 / 53°41'28"N

Longitude: -1.7387 / 1°44'19"W

OS Eastings: 417351.328637

OS Northings: 421677.644566

OS Grid: SE173216

Mapcode National: GBR JT9R.CJ

Mapcode Global: WHC9W.8H91

Entry Name: Castle Hill univallate defended settlement, Kirklees Park

Scheduled Date: 10 December 1936

Last Amended: 15 September 2014

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005806

English Heritage Legacy ID: WY 253

County: Calderdale

Electoral Ward/Division: Brighouse

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Hartsheadst Peter

Church of England Diocese: Leeds

Summary

Small earthwork enclosure set on a hill-top, initially thought to have been a Roman military site (prompting the reconstruction of a Roman watchtower at its centre in 1905), now interpreted as an Iron Age defended farmstead settlement.

Source: Historic England

Details

PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: hilltop earthwork enclosure formed by a low earth and stone bank with an external ditch encircling level ground, with, close to its centre, a reconstructed Roman watchtower built in 1905.

DESCRIPTION: the univallate defended settlement has an internal area of about 0.5ha, being a rhombus in shape, its longest side being to the east. It is situated on the highest ground between the valley of the Nun Brook to the east and the River Calder to the west, set at the top the steep scarp down to the Calder. The earthworks survive best on the south and east sides, where the bank and outer ditch are clear, the bank standing to about 1m above the base of the ditch, the whole earthwork being nearly 10m across. On the east side there are traces of a low outer bank, although this may be spoil from the 1905 excavation. The earthworks are less obvious on the west and especially north sides, here surviving as a low ridge and an infilled ditch. Original entrances have not been identified. Within the enclosure, the ground is generally level with a partly ruined tower, Sir George Armytage's reconstruction of a Roman watchtower, close to its centre.

The watchtower is stone-built of three storeys with the remains of a shallow-pitched pyramidal roof with a wide overhang which originally covered the top floor balcony-walkway that once encompassed the tower. An external stone staircase leads to the first floor and there is a wide entrance to the base of the tower which has a timber lintel with a carved date MCMV.

EXTENT OF SCHEDULING: On the western side of the monument, a run of upright stones marks a former fence line; this is used to locate the western side of the monument, the boundary being a projected, parallel line 5m to the west of these stones. The southern boundary is also defined as a straight line, this time 5m south of the base of the outer ditch, including all of the ditch with at least a 2m margin for the support and protection of the monument. Most of the northern and eastern boundaries follow the edge of ploughed fields, again including the full extent of the outer ditch (infilled to the north) with an additional margin. On the east side the boundary also includes the traces of an outer bank. Where the boundary cuts through woodland in the north eastern corner of the monument, it runs just to the east of a stone water trough. The reconstructed Roman watchtower built in 1905 is also included in the scheduling.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Castle Hill univallate defended settlement is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Survival: a well preserved example of a small, late prehistoric defended settlement, being a rare earthwork survivor that is not within an upland moorland setting;
* Archaeology: with the 1905 reconstruction of a Roman watchtower, the monument is a good illustration of the evolution of archaeological interpretation;
* Potential: excavations conducted by Armytage in 1905 uncovered structural remains, however these excavations were very limited in extent. Castle Hill thus retains a good potential for undisturbed archaeological remains.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Michelmore, DJH, West Yorkshire: an Archaeological Survey to AD 1500, (1981), 126
Wallace, C, 'The Arbeia Journal' in Reconstructed Roman Watchtower of the Early C20 at Kirklees, (2005)

Source: Historic England

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