Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Defended settlement 580m north west of Gowanburn and associated medieval buildings

A Scheduled Monument in Kielder, Northumberland

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 55.2188 / 55°13'7"N

Longitude: -2.5631 / 2°33'47"W

OS Eastings: 364272.614486

OS Northings: 591768.181766

OS Grid: NY642917

Mapcode National: GBR B8J3.W0

Mapcode Global: WH8ZV.L2PZ

Entry Name: Defended settlement 580m north west of Gowanburn and associated medieval buildings

Scheduled Date: 28 November 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009672

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25112

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Kielder

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Falstone with Greystead and Thorneyburn

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a defended enclosure of Iron Age date
situated on the crest of a south east facing spur. The enclosure, roughly
circular in shape, measures 50m in diameter within a narrow ditch up to 2.5m
wide and 0.6m deep. Outside the ditch there is a substantial earthen bank 5m
wide and a maximum of 1m high above the external ground surface. On the
western side of the enclosure there are several large stones embedded in the
bank; these are interpreted as the remains of an outer revetment. The
existence of an internal rather than an external ditch is an unusual feature
in this enclosure. On the south east side of the enclosure the bank has been
levelled and the ditch infilled, however the latter can be traced for part of
its course as a damp hollow. Immediately to the south of the enclosure there
are the remains of at least two rectangular buildings first noted by
MacLaughlan in 1867 when there were apparently more than two. The two
remaining buildings measure 10m by 5m and are placed at an angle to each
other. It is presumed that the other buildings have been destroyed by the
adjacent fire break.

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

Despite having been partially levelled at the south east side by
afforestation, the defended settlement near Gowanburn is reasonably well
preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a
group of prehistoric monuments situated near the confluence of the River North
Tyne and Kielder Burn; taken together they will add to our knowledge and
understanding of prehistoric settlement and activity at this time.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
MacLaughlan, H, Additional Notes on Roman Roads in Northumberland, (1867), 65
Long, B, List Of Ancient Monuments- The Kielder Forests, (1988)
NY 69 SW 11,

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.