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Defended settlement on Beanley Moor 780m east of Beanley South Side Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Hedgeley, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.4582 / 55°27'29"N

Longitude: -1.8567 / 1°51'24"W

OS Eastings: 409156.41469

OS Northings: 618265.40973

OS Grid: NU091182

Mapcode National: GBR H5GB.T7

Mapcode Global: WHC19.G22J

Entry Name: Defended settlement on Beanley Moor 780m east of Beanley South Side Farm

Scheduled Date: 20 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011550

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21026

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Hedgeley

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Eglingham St Maurice

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Details

The monument includes the remains of a defended settlement of Iron Age date
situated on the western slope of Beanley Moor. The roughly circular enclosure
is 50m east-west by 45m north-south within a single stoney rampart 9m wide and
standing to a maximum height of 0.5m. The broad rampart has been much robbed
of stone on the north and eastern sides giving the impression of there having
been a double rampart. There is an entrance 4m wide through the rampart in the
south-western side of the enclosure. Within the enclosure there are the well-
preserved foundations of a prehistoric house situated against the south wall
of the enclosure, immediately to the right of the entrance. The foundations
are 7.5m in diameter and the walls stand to a height of 0.3m. Several other
circular hollows may be the sites of further round houses.

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

During the later prehistoric period (7th - 5th centuries BC) a variety of
different types of defensive settlements were 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.
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
importance.

Despite some robbing of the surrounding rampart the defended settlement east
of Beanley South Side Farm is reasonably 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
settlement in the vicinity; it will contribute to any study of the wider
settlement pattern at this time.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
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Source: Historic England

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