Ancient Monuments

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Crow Hill Iron Age hillfort with associated Iron Age, Roman and Medieval settlements

A Scheduled Monument in Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire

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Latitude: 52.3334 / 52°20'0"N

Longitude: -0.5959 / 0°35'45"W

OS Eastings: 495772.094729

OS Northings: 271517.434319

OS Grid: SP957715

Mapcode National: GBR DY5.L62

Mapcode Global: VHFP6.MMB2

Entry Name: Crow Hill Iron Age hillfort with associated Iron Age, Roman and Medieval settlements

Scheduled Date: 5 January 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013267

English Heritage Legacy ID: 11506

County: Northamptonshire

Civil Parish: Irthlingborough

Built-Up Area: Crow Hill Housing Estate

Traditional County: Northamptonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northamptonshire

Church of England Parish: Irthlingborough St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Peterborough


The monument includes the site of an Iron Age defended enclosure together with
the remains of Roman and Medieval settlements. The Iron Age site comprises a
large rectangular enclosure or hillfort, measuring some 250 m. by 175 m.,
defined by a single bank and ditch. The hillfort contains two rectangular
enclosures, a number of house gullies and pits and a concentration of Iron Age
pottery, which suggest it was densely occupied. Outside the enclosure, to the
east and south-west, smaller amounts of pottery and associated cropmarks
indicate the presence of contemporary occupation around the hillfort. A
smaller enclosure complex, probably contemporary, is located some 350 m. to
the south-west. The hillfort probably remained in use or was reused in the
Roman period. Roman domestic remains, including pottery scatters, are mainly
concentrated within the enclosure, with the remains of a contemporary
occupation site located on a small plateau to the east. A lesser scatter of
material in the fields around the enclosure is thought to be related to
manuring activities. The Early Medieval settlement is also centred on the
earlier hillfort but with additional concentrations of material associated
with two small enclosures to the west. Crow Hill and its surrounds are
thought to be the original settlement of Yrtlingaburg.

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

Sites which show evidence of continuous occupation from the Iron Age
through to the Early Medieval period are extremely rare. Single
examples of each period would normally be considered worthy of
preservation. The Crow Hill monument is particularly unusual in
having good evidence for all these periods, contained mainly within
one enclosure. There are only some 150 univallate hillforts recorded
in England. The Crow Hill Iron age hillfort is therefore an important
and rare example. It is also significant as the second largest
hillfort in the county, making up a cluster with the contemporary
Thorpe End enclosure on the eastern side of the River Nene. In all
periods external occupation is focussed around the enclosure with
distributions falling off away from the centre. The monument has good
potential for studying the development of a defended settlement from
the Iron age to the Early Medieval period.
Although the monument has been ploughed, limited excavation and
survey has shown the site to contain high potential for the survival
of major archaeological remains below the plough soil.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Parry, S, Archaeological Investigations At Crow Hill Irthlingborough, (1989)
Foard, G, Parry, S, 'Northants Arch (1986-7)' in Crow Hill, Irthlingborough, (1986), 12
Foard, G, Parry, S, 'Northants Arch (1986-7)' in Crow Hill, Irthlingborough, (1986), 13

Source: Historic England

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