Ancient Monuments

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The Kettles univallate hillfort and enclosed settlement, 261m north west and 331m south west of King's Chair

A Scheduled Monument in Wooler, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5391 / 55°32'20"N

Longitude: -2.0261 / 2°1'33"W

OS Eastings: 398451.934671

OS Northings: 627268.02457

OS Grid: NT984272

Mapcode National: GBR G49D.56

Mapcode Global: WH9ZP.V1DG

Entry Name: The Kettles univallate hillfort and enclosed settlement, 261m north west and 331m south west of King's Chair

Scheduled Date: 24 September 1934

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006530

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 216

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Wooler

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Wooler St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument, which falls in two areas, includes a univallate hillfort of Iron Age date, situated on a promontory on the east slope of Kenterdale Hill and an enclosed settlement of Romano-British date, situated on the east slope of Earle Whin. The Kettles univallate hillfort, also known as Greenside Camp and Maiden Castle, has steep natural slopes to the south, east and north east with more gradual slopes in other directions. The enclosure is irregularly-shaped, reflecting the local topography, and is separated into two parts by triple ramparts which run perpendicular to its long north west to south east axis and have an entrance in their centre allowing access between the two parts. The north west portion of the enclosure measures approximately 108m by 100m and the south east portion is roughly 70m by 88m. The enclosure is surrounded by earthworks, which comprise a single rampart in areas where the slope is naturally steep. To the north, where the approach is easier, the rampart is strengthened by a single-scarped bank and an additional outer rampart. There is a small annexe at the south west tip of the monument with a main entrance on the north side. The interior of the south east portion of the enclosure is divided by low earthworks. The complex form of the earthwork is understood to partially be the result of later Romano-British reoccupation and elaboration.
Situated 418m SSW of the hillfort there is a Romano-British enclosed settlement. The settlement is sub-circular in shape and measures approximately 33m by 28m, within a single bank and there are additional banks forming a small annexe on the east side. The banks are on average 4m wide, stand to a maximum height of 1m and there is an entrance through the east side. The concrete footings of a post-medieval building within the hillfort and a stone wall which crosses the enclosed settlement, are both excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

PastScape Monument No:- 2671 (hillfort), 2681(homestead)
NMR:- NT92NE58 (hillfort), NT92NE60 (homestead)
Northumberland HER:- 1546 (hillfort), 1548 (homestead)

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Slight univallate hillforts are defined as enclosures of various shapes, generally between 1ha and 10ha in size, situated on or close to hilltops and defined by a single line of earthworks, the scale of which is relatively small. They date to between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth - fifth centuries BC). Slight univallate hillforts have generally been interpreted as stock enclosures, redistribution centres, places of refuge and permanent settlements. The earthworks generally include a rampart, narrow level berm, external ditch and counterscarp bank. Postholes revealed by excavation indicate the occasional presence of portal gateways while more elaborate features like overlapping ramparts and outworks are limited to only a few examples. Internal features included timber or stone round houses; large storage pits and hearths; scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies; and square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six posts, often represented by postholes, and interpreted as raised granaries. Slight univallate hillforts are rare with around 150 examples recorded nationally. In view of the rarity of slight univallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all examples which survive comparatively well and have potential for the recovery of further archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.
The Kettles univallate hillfort and homestead 261m north west and 331m south west of King's Chair are both well-preserved and are good examples of their settlement types. Taken together they provide insight into the changing character of settlement from the Iron Age through to the Romano-British period.

Source: Historic England

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