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Downham camp

A Scheduled Monument in Carham, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6002 / 55°36'0"N

Longitude: -2.2109 / 2°12'39"W

OS Eastings: 386810.698593

OS Northings: 634080.200909

OS Grid: NT868340

Mapcode National: GBR F30P.4B

Mapcode Global: WH9Z7.0HHP

Entry Name: Downham camp

Scheduled Date: 9 April 1951

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006525

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 255

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Carham

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Kirknewton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Summary

Camp Hill defended settlement, 327m ENE of Downham.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 May 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 a defended settlement of Iron Age date, situated on a ridge overlooked from the north east but protected by slopes on the remaining sides and a steep crag on the north side. The enclosure is sub-oval in plan and measures approximately 100m north east-south west and 49m north west-south east. It is surrounded by a partial double bank and ditch except along the north side where it is protected by a crag. The defences are interrupted by an entrance on the east side. The interior of the enclosure is overlain by ridge and furrow.

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.

Camp Hill defended settlement ENE of Downham is reasonably well-preserved and a good example of its type. Its value is increased by two broadly contemporary defended settlements on the summit and slopes of Moneylaw Hill to the northeast. The monument will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction and use and environmental deposits relating to the use of the surrounding landscape.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
PastScape Monument No:- 1173

Source: Historic England

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