Ancient Monuments

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Univallate hillfort on Great Wanney Crag

A Scheduled Monument in Kirkwhelpington, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.1448 / 55°8'41"N

Longitude: -2.1084 / 2°6'30"W

OS Eastings: 393184.586001

OS Northings: 583384.237732

OS Grid: NY931833

Mapcode National: GBR F8QY.BK

Mapcode Global: WHB1D.LY5B

Entry Name: Univallate hillfort on Great Wanney Crag

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 2 December 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011102

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20997

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Kirkwhelpington

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Kirkwhelpington with Kirkharle and Kirkheaton

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Details

The monument includes a hillfort of Iron Age date situated on the edge of the
highest point of Great Wanney Crag. The hillfort is semi-circular in shape and
is defended on three sides by an artificial rampart; the fourth side is
defended by the steep precipitous slopes of Wanney Crag. The enclosure
measures 97m north-east to south-west by 50m north-west to south-east within a
single rampart of earth and stone 7m broad and 1.2m above the bottom of an
outer ditch 3m wide. There is a funnel shaped entrance in the south-east side
of the enclosure, carried across the ditch on a causeway.

MAP EXTRACT
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 hillfort on Great Wanney Crag is very well preserved and retains
significant archaeological deposits. The importance of this monument is
enhanced by the survival of other forms of contemporary and later settlement
in the area; it will contribute to any study of the wider settlement pattern
at this time.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Hill Forts and Settlements in Northumberland, (1965), 63
Other
1671,

Source: Historic England

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