Ancient Monuments

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Uplaw Knowe palisaded settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Alwinton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.3722 / 55°22'20"N

Longitude: -2.1362 / 2°8'10"W

OS Eastings: 391464.318273

OS Northings: 608702.227989

OS Grid: NT914087

Mapcode National: GBR F6JB.90

Mapcode Global: WHB0F.570D

Entry Name: Uplaw Knowe palisaded settlement

Scheduled Date: 7 September 1984

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006393

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 650

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Alwinton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


Palisaded settlement, 296m east of Uplaw Knowe.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 2 June 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes the remains of a palisaded settlement of Iron Age date, situated on the east slopes of Uplaw Knowe. The enclosure is egg-shaped and is surrounded by a palisade trench preserved as a very low earthwork and in places as a cropmark. Within the interior of the enclosure are the remains of at least two hut circles with diameters of 13.5m and 14m, which are preserved as ring-grooves.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A palisaded hilltop enclosure is a small defended site of domestic function dating to the Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age (c.550-440 BC). Their distribution is largely restricted to north-eastern England, the Borders and southern Scotland. They are generally located on spurs, promontories or hilltops covering areas of less than 0.4ha. The boundaries of these sites are marked by single or double rock-cut trenches which originally formed the settings for substantial palisades. Remains of circular buildings are found within the palisaded areas, along with evidence for fenced stock enclosures. Palisaded sites are the earliest type of defended settlements recorded in the area and are thought to be a product of increasingly unsettled social conditions in the later prehistoric period. They imply an extensive use of timber, confirmation that large areas were heavily wooded at this time. Although the palisades at individual sites may have undergone several phases of replacement or refurbishment it is thought that the tradition of building this type of site spanned only around 150 years. After this the use of earthen banks and ditches to form the defensive perimeter became more common. Excavation has demonstrated that at several sites the earthen defences were preceded by timber palisades. Palisaded enclosures are a rare monument type with fewer than 200 known examples. They are an important element of the later prehistoric settlement pattern and are important for any study of the developing use of defended settlements during the later prehistoric period. All identified surviving examples are believed to be nationally important.

The palisaded settlement east of Uplaw Knowe is reasonably well-preserved as a low earthwork with evidence of settlement in the form of hut circles. The monument will contain archaeological and environmental deposits which will provide insight into the contruction, use and abandonment of the settlement and the surrounding landscape. The significance of the monument is increased by the presence of other Iron Age/Romano-British settlement remains close to the south east. These remains include a broadly contemporary palisaded settlement NNE of Hosedon Linn. Taken together these monuments provide important insight into the character and development of settlement and subsistence during the Iron Age to the Romano-British period.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 1670

Source: Historic England

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