Ancient Monuments

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Castle Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Dufton, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.6013 / 54°36'4"N

Longitude: -2.4633 / 2°27'47"W

OS Eastings: 370167.95887

OS Northings: 523005.087491

OS Grid: NY701230

Mapcode National: GBR CH77.HB

Mapcode Global: WH92T.4L8X

Entry Name: Castle Hill

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1938

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007207

English Heritage Legacy ID: CU 178

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Dufton

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Dufton St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


Castle Hill settlement.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 01 March 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 enclosure of Iron Age date, situated on high ground with steep natural slopes to the south east and south west and overlooked by slightly higher ground to the north east. The sub-circular enclosure, also known as Castle Hill, is preserved as an earthwork and is partially surrounded by a ditch with an outer rampart. The ditch is approximately 3m wide and 1.5m deep and has a causewayed entrance on its north west side. Within the interior of the enclosure are at least seven hut circles with diameters varying from 3m to 6m and the foundations of a 10m-12m long square building preserved as a low earthwork.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

During the mid-prehistoric period (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.

Castle Hill settlement is reasonably well-preserved with numerous features including ditches, ramparts and hut stances preserved as earthworks. The state of preservation of the monument indicates that it will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment and environmental deposits relating to the use of the surrounding landscape. The monument is representative of its period and is a good example of its type. It provides insight into the character of settlement during the Iron Age period as well as providing information on subsistence strategies and fortification.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:- 15006

Source: Historic England

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