Ancient Monuments

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Soldiers Fold univallate hillfort, 300m south-west of Swindon

A Scheduled Monument in Hepple, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2893 / 55°17'21"N

Longitude: -2.0463 / 2°2'46"W

OS Eastings: 397159.797024

OS Northings: 599462.75826

OS Grid: NY971994

Mapcode National: GBR G748.SR

Mapcode Global: WHB0V.JBT0

Entry Name: Soldiers Fold univallate hillfort, 300m south-west of Swindon

Scheduled Date: 19 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008886

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20913

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Hepple

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a hillfort of Iron Age date situated on a north-west
facing slope naturally defended on its northern side above the Grasslees Burn.
The oval enclosure measures 82m north-east to south-west by 55m north-west to
south-east within a single rampart and ditch on the east, west and south
sides; the northern portion of the rampart is now obscured by a modern
terraced track which clips the northern edge of the monument. The very well
preserved rampart is 6m wide and stands in places up to 1.8m in height; on the
southern side there are clear traces of a dry stone wall revetment. The ditch
is up to 1.7m deep and 8m wide. There are no definite traces of an entrance
but slight indications of a causeway across the ditch, accompanied by a break
in the rampart at the south-west corner of the circuit, may represent an
original entrance. The monument is dissected by a hollow way which may
obscure other original entrances on the north-east and south-west sides. A
large circular scooped area in the south-western part of the interior
represents the site of a round house. Additionally two other less well
defined scooped areas towards the north-east corner of the monument may
indicate further occupation.

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.

Soldiers Fold hillfort survives in a very good state of preservation with
no sign of major disturbance. It is one of several hillforts in the vicinity
of the River Coquet and it will contribute to the study of later Prehistoric
settlement and activity along this river valley.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana, 4 ser 42' in Enclosed Stone Built Settlements in Northumberland, (1964)
NY 99 NE 12,

Source: Historic England

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