Ancient Monuments

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Defended settlement, 620m SSW of West Brizlee

A Scheduled Monument in Edlingham, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.4201 / 55°25'12"N

Longitude: -1.7788 / 1°46'43"W

OS Eastings: 414098.098849

OS Northings: 614043.994319

OS Grid: NU140140

Mapcode National: GBR J50R.PV

Mapcode Global: WHC1J.N146

Entry Name: Defended settlement, 620m SSW of West Brizlee

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1968

Last Amended: 11 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014066

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25198

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Edlingham

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Alnwick

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a defended settlement of Iron Age date situated on
slightly sloping ground with a westerly aspect. The enclosure, roughly
circular in shape, measures a maximum of 40m east to west by 44m north to
south within a substantial rampart of stone and earth which is on average 6m
wide and stands to a maximum height of 1.8m above a surrounding ditch 5m wide.
Where the matrix of the surrounding rampart is exposed around the south
eastern side, the foundations of a stone wall two courses high are visible in
the centre of the rampart. There is an original entrance 4m wide through the
south east side of the enclosure. Immediately adjacent to the east rampart, a
large circular hollow, possibly caused by a fallen tree, has revealed a large
area of stone which may represent the site of a round house.

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 near West Brizlee is well preserved and retains
significant archaeological deposits. The importance of the monument is
enhanced by the survival of a second defended settlement in the vicinity which
taken together will add greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the
wider settlement pattern at this time.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Hill Forts and Settlements in Northumberland, (1965), 64
NU 11 SW 01,

Source: Historic England

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