Ancient Monuments

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Iron Age enclosure on Whittle Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Hartburn, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.1662 / 55°9'58"N

Longitude: -1.8115 / 1°48'41"W

OS Eastings: 412102.771855

OS Northings: 585778.513668

OS Grid: NZ121857

Mapcode National: GBR H8SP.LW

Mapcode Global: WHC2P.4DMW

Entry Name: Iron Age enclosure on Whittle Hill

Scheduled Date: 6 October 1978

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006431

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 609

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Hartburn

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Mitford St Mary Magdalene

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Summary

Whittle Hill defended settlement.

Source: Historic England

Details

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 defended settlement of Iron Age date, situated on the summit of Whittle Hill and partly extending down to Whittle Burn to the east. The sub-circular enclosure has a diameter of approximately 100m, enclosing an area of 0.4ha., and is surrounded by a double ditch, which is preserved as a cropmark. Aerial photographs show additional features in the area including what is interpreted as a droveway and a group of hut circles possibly postdating the abandonment of the defences.

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.

The defended settlement 235m east of Holly Cottage is preserved as a cropmark and analysis of AP’s indicate that the monument will contain archaeological and environmental deposits within its ditches and any other below ground features that will provide insight into its construction, use and abandonment as well as the use of the surrounding landscape. The indications of hut circles which may post date the use of the defences contributes to the significance of the monument which provides insight into the character of settlement and subsistence during the Iron Age.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape Monument No:- 23289

Source: Historic England

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