Ancient Monuments

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Defended settlement, 470m south west of Haining

A Scheduled Monument in Elsdon, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2261 / 55°13'34"N

Longitude: -2.1252 / 2°7'30"W

OS Eastings: 392136.106186

OS Northings: 592440.869994

OS Grid: NY921924

Mapcode National: GBR F8L0.QD

Mapcode Global: WHB10.BW8Y

Entry Name: Defended settlement, 470m south west of Haining

Scheduled Date: 19 January 1968

Last Amended: 25 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009608

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21040

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Elsdon

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Elsdon St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of an irregular shaped univallate defended
settlement of Iron Age date situated below the top of a hill on a north facing
slope. The roughly oval settlement measures a maximum of 85m north east to
south west by 62m north west to south east within a rampart and ditch and
traces of a counter-scarp bank. The rampart of earth and stone is 5m wide and
stands to a maximum height of 1.5m above the bottom of the surrounding ditch
which is 6m across. The counter-scarp bank, best preserved on the western side
surrounds the ditch and is 0.9m high above the bottom of the ditch. There is
an entrance, 2m wide, in the north east side of the enclosure. The plantation
fence line which crosses the western side of the monument is excluded from the
scheduling but the ground beneath it is included.

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

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

The defended settlement south west of Haining is well preserved and retains
significant archaeological deposits. The importance of the monument is
enhanced by the survival of similar and other forms of later prehistoric and
Romano-British settlement in the area; it will contribute to any study of the
wider settlement pattern at this time.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hope-Dodds, M, The Victoria History of the County of Northumberland: Volume XV, (1940), 56
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Aniq Ncle 4 ser 11' in Native Settlements of Northumberland, (1946), 169
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Hill Forts and Settlements in Northumberland, (1965), 51-53

Source: Historic England

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