Ancient Monuments

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Defended settlement, 100m north west of Chester Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Denwick, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.4419 / 55°26'30"N

Longitude: -1.7289 / 1°43'44"W

OS Eastings: 417247.454079

OS Northings: 616476.65423

OS Grid: NU172164

Mapcode National: GBR J5CJ.H2

Mapcode Global: WHC1C.DHY1

Entry Name: Defended settlement, 100m north west of Chester Cottage

Scheduled Date: 15 May 1963

Last Amended: 11 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014073

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25184

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Denwick

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 the
summit of a small promontory to which some natural defence is provided by
steeper slopes on the north, south and west sides. The enclosure, roughly
circular in shape, measures 58m north to south by 55m east to west within
double ramparts of stone and earth separated by a ditch with a second ditch on
the north and north eastern sides. The two ramparts vary in height from 0.3m
to 1m and are on average 5m wide. The inner ditch which separates the two
ramparts is 0.4m deep and 6m wide and the outer ditch is a maximum of 1.4m
deep. There is an entrance through the outer rampart on the south east side of
the enclosure.

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 Chester Cottage is well preserved and retains
significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a group of similar later
prehistoric settlements in the area and will contribute to any study of the
wider settlement pattern at this time.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
MacLaughlan, H, Additional Notes on Roman Roads in Northumberland, (1867), 15
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Hill Forts and Settlements in Northumberland, (1965), 62
NU 11 NE 18,

Source: Historic England

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