Ancient Monuments

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West Hill camp

A Scheduled Monument in Kirknewton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5592 / 55°33'33"N

Longitude: -2.1446 / 2°8'40"W

OS Eastings: 390973.289506

OS Northings: 629515.466145

OS Grid: NT909295

Mapcode National: GBR F4G4.HZ

Mapcode Global: WH9ZG.1J0K

Entry Name: West Hill camp

Scheduled Date: 22 August 1935

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006534

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 221

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Kirknewton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Kirknewton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


Enclosed settlements, 733m south west of Kirknewton House.

Source: Historic England


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 with an earlier palisade trench and a settlement enclosure of Romano-British date, situated on the summit of West Hill with steep slopes to the north and west and slighter slopes to the east and south. The defended settlement includes a sub-oval enclosure measuring approximately 67m north-south and 59m east-west surrounded by a double rampart. The inner rampart, which follows the contours of the hill, is built of earth and stone and has an average width of 5m. In places its outer side merges into the natural slope of the hill. The outer rampart does not follow the contour of the hill and is off-centred to the inner rampart with the distance between the two varying greatly between the east and west sides of the enclosure. Both ramparts are broken by entrances on the east side.

Interrupting the outer rampart on its north east side is a Romano-British D-shaped enclosure measuring approximately 33m by 35m and with an entrance on its north east side. The enclosure is surrounded by a rampart of earth and stone. There are at least fourteen hut circles both within the D-shaped enclosure and the interior of the defended settlement. Three of the hut circles overlie the rampart of the hillfort and the majority of the fourteen hut circles are understood to represent Romano-British settlement contemporary with the wider reworking of the monument with.

The earliest feature on the site is represented by a shallow linear ditch within the interior of the hillfort measuring up to 1.8m wide and 0.3m deep, which is understood to be the remains of a palisade trench associated with an earlier enclosure masked by the construction of the Iron Age settlement and later activity.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The settlement remains on West Hill reveal a particularly complex sequence of development. There are at least three major phases of occupation associated with a pre-Iron Age palisade trench, an Iron Age defended settlement and a major episode of Romano-British reoccupation, rebuilding and remodelling of the earlier earthwork. Whilst the reoccupation of prehistoric sites is a consistent feature within the region, the present case is significant due to the presence of an earlier pre-hillfort phase of occupation and the extent of the Romano-British rebuilding and remodelling. It is possible that the Iron Age phase was limited to the inner rampart with the off-centred outer rampart being contemporary with the Romano-British reworking of the monument. Equally, the number of building phases and the complexity of the settlement evidence is likely to have been underestimated by the current investigations into the monument, which has never been excavated.

Taken together, the different features of the enclosed settlements south west of Kirknewton House provide an excellent insight into the character of continuity and change in settlement from later prehistory into the Romano-British period. The value of the monument is increased by the proximity of the broadly contemporary and similarly complex multi-period settlement site on St Gregory’s Hill to the ENE. The monument is well-preserved and will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and sequential development.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 2950 (defended settlement), 1310897 (palisade trench), 1310901 (hut circles), 1310904 (D-shaped enclosure), 1311055 (earthern mound)

Source: Historic England

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