Ancient Monuments

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Defended settlement, 800m SSE of South Charlton Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Eglingham, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.4653 / 55°27'55"N

Longitude: -1.7373 / 1°44'14"W

OS Eastings: 416708.793236

OS Northings: 619087.196504

OS Grid: NU167190

Mapcode National: GBR J597.PN

Mapcode Global: WHC15.8WZK

Entry Name: Defended settlement, 800m SSE of South Charlton Farm

Scheduled Date: 28 November 1932

Last Amended: 11 March 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014074

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25185

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Eglingham

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: South Charlton St James

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a defended settlement of Iron Age date situated on the
southern slopes below the summit of Buck Law. The enclosure, roughly circular
in shape, measures 67m in diameter within double ramparts of earth and stone
separated by a ditch. The slight inner rampart stands to a maximum height of
0.5m and where best preserved is on average 4m wide. The outer rampart is
stronger and where best preserved is 1.5m high. The ditch which separates the
two ramparts is on average 8m wide and 1.7m deep. There are opposing entrances
through the defences in the centre of the east and west sides and these
display evidence of having been inturned to afford greater defence. Within the
enclosure, which has been partly disturbed for quarrying, there are traces
of internal divisions formed by low fragmentary banks 0.3m high.

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

Despite some damage from surface quarrying, the settlement 800M SSE of South
Charlton Farm is well preserved and retains significant archaeological
deposits. It is one of a group of similar Iron Age 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), 64
NU 11 NE 10,

Source: Historic England

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