Ancient Monuments

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Defended settlement, 550m south west of Broomhouse

A Scheduled Monument in Chatton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5399 / 55°32'23"N

Longitude: -1.9382 / 1°56'17"W

OS Eastings: 403998.569211

OS Northings: 627354.242917

OS Grid: NU039273

Mapcode National: GBR G4XC.5X

Mapcode Global: WH9ZR.609W

Entry Name: Defended settlement, 550m south west of Broomhouse

Scheduled Date: 13 April 1981

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006410

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 626

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Chatton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Chatton with Chillingham

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the buried remains of an Iron Age defended settlement situated just off the top of a ridge on a gentle north east facing slope. The settlement, which is visible as a cropmark enclosure on aerial photographs, is sub-circular in shape with a diameter of approximately 60m and is surrounded by one, and in places two, ditches with an average width of 5m. The outer ditch does not make a complete circuit as it joins the inner ditch for a stretch of 40m on the north side of the enclosure. The enclosure has an entrance on the east side which is flanked by in-turned ditch terminals.

PastScape Monument No:- 5705
NMR:- NU02NW41
Northumberland HER:- 3318

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.
Despite cultivation, the defended settlement south west of Broomhouse retains significant archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment, and environmental deposits relating to the nature and use of the surrounding landscape. The monument will contribute to our knowledge and understanding of settlement and subsistence during the Iron Age.

Source: Historic England

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