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Camp Knowe univallate hillfort, 700m north-west of Clennell

A Scheduled Monument in Alwinton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.3644 / 55°21'51"N

Longitude: -2.1188 / 2°7'7"W

OS Eastings: 392563.982962

OS Northings: 607823.473918

OS Grid: NT925078

Mapcode National: GBR F6ND.2V

Mapcode Global: WHB0F.FF8G

Entry Name: Camp Knowe univallate hillfort, 700m north-west of Clennell

Scheduled Date: 1 November 1966

Last Amended: 24 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008281

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25022

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Alwinton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a univallate hillfort of Iron Age date situated in a
commanding position on the highest part of a spur overlooking the River Alwin
and its confluence with the River Coquet to the south. The fort, roughly oval
in shape, measures 96m north-east to south-west by 80m north-west to
south-east within a substantial rampart of earth and stone measuring 4m across
and varying in height from 1m-2m. The site is naturally defended on the
north-west side by steep precipitous slopes and, reflecting this security, the
rampart here is slighter and 2m-3m wide with a maximum height of 0.3m. The
rampart is separated from a counterscarp bank by a broad berm which measures
5m across; the counterscarp bank, which is not carried around the north-west
side, is a maximum of 4m wide and stands to a maximum height of 1m. The
south-eastern defences have been overlain by a later field wall. Original
entrances lie in the south and south-east side of the fort. A low bank runs
from both entrances towards the centre of the site, where the stone
foundations of up to three circular houses 7m in diameter are visible, all
with entrances in their south-east sides. Within the enclosure, north of the
south-east entrance there is an unusual structure consisting of an enclosure
containing a small circular building 3m in diameter situated upon a mound in
its north-west corner. The latter enclosure, the stone houses and internal
dividing walls are consistent with Romano-British reuse of the Iron Age fort.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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), the majority being used for between 150 and 200 years
prior to their abandonment or reconstruction. 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, while access
to the interior is usually provided by two entrances comprising either simple
gaps in the earthwork or an inturned rampart. 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 include square or rectangular buildings supported
by four to six postholes and interpreted as raised granaries, timber or stone
round houses, large storage pits and hearths as well as scattered postholes,
stakeholes and gullies. Slight univallate hillforts are rare with around 150
examples recorded nationally. Although on a national scale the number is low,
in Devon they comprise one of the major classes of hillfort. In other areas
where the distribution is relatively dense, for example, Wessex, Sussex, the
Cotswolds and the Chilterns, hillforts belonging to a number of different
classes occur within the same region. Examples are also recorded in eastern
England, the Welsh Marches, central and southern England. 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 univallate hillfort north-west of Clennell is well preserved and
substantial and significant archaeological deposits survive. The commanding
situation of this fort suggests that it was a settlement of some importance
in the region. The later Romano-British site is also well preserved and will
contribute to the study of the changing pattern of settlement in this area in
the later prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser 11' in Native Settlements of Northumberland, (1947), 164
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Hill Forts and Settlements in Northumberland, (1965), 62
NT 90 NW 02,

Source: Historic England

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