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Iron Age multivallate hillfort and prehistoric trackway at Monday Cleugh

A Scheduled Monument in Akeld, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5507 / 55°33'2"N

Longitude: -2.0722 / 2°4'19"W

OS Eastings: 395544.117049

OS Northings: 628555.737612

OS Grid: NT955285

Mapcode National: GBR F4Z8.51

Mapcode Global: WH9ZH.4RJ4

Entry Name: Iron Age multivallate hillfort and prehistoric trackway at Monday Cleugh

Scheduled Date: 28 November 1932

Last Amended: 15 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015639

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24666

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Akeld

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Kirknewton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes an Iron Age hillfort and prehistoric trackway located on
the south west and west slopes of Harehope Hill. The hillfort is situated on
level ground at the head of a deep crag sided hollow called Monday Cleugh
which forms part of its defences on the east side. Although the site is
overlooked by Harehope Hill to the north east and Gains Law to the south it
commands extensive views to the east, north and west.
The enclosure is roughly semicircular in shape and measures 138m north-south
by 101m east-west. It is surrounded by three earth and stone banks on the
north and west, two scarped banks on the south and one on the east where the
crags provide natural defences. The outer and middle ramparts stand 1m and
1.2m high and measure 3m and 5m wide respectively; both have kerb stones
visible along their outer edges. The inner rampart stands up to 1.5m high and
measures 5m wide. The ramparts stand between 4m and 5m apart; all have become
spread in places but the middle and inner ramparts retain sharp profiles
especially on the north side of the enclosure. There are two main entrances
into the enclosure. First, in the south east corner is an opening 3m wide
protected by the outer rampart which overlaps it. Second, in the west side is
an entrance 3m wide now overlain by a modern sheepfold. A possible third
entrance lies in the north east corner where there is a gap in the inner
rampart. Visible within the hillfort are the turf covered remains of three hut
circles between 7m and 8m in diameter internally with walls standing up to
0.2m high; two have entrances c.2m wide in the north and north east sides.
Near the west entrance, against the inner rampart, are the low foundations of
a rectangular building 6m by 19m and up to 0.1m high. Two sub-rectangular
foundations, 3m by 6m, are attached to the outer rampart on the north side of
the enclosure. Overlying the ramparts on the west side of the hillfort is a
later enclosure of rough stone walling associated with rectangular structures
situated within the ramparts and the hillfort; this is thought to be an old
The hillfort is approached from the west via a 138m long trackway, 9m to
11m wide, bound each side by an earth and stone bank 3m wide and 0.75m high.
The southern bank runs to the west entrance and the northern bank runs around
the northern side of the hillfort to the crag edge where it lies 24m from the
outer rampart. The trackway is an offshoot of another track, 420m long, which
runs around the north west of Harehope Hill. For most of its length this is
deeply cut into the hillslope with a bank 3m wide on the downslope side; the
bank has a near vertical internal face with traces of stone lining. The track
has a U-shaped profile and measures a maximum 10m wide by 1.5m deep. In places
where the track is very shallow there are traces of a slight upcast bank on
the upslope side. Towards the top of the hill the track splits in two and
funnels out to a natural hollow c.25m wide; only the track leading to the
hillfort is included in the monument which is marked by a bank 3m wide by
0.75m high on the east side and joins the offshoot trackway. Beyond this
junction the track appears to continue in the natural hollow towards Monday
Cleugh with traces of a shallow bank on its northern edge, a sample length of
10m is included in the monument.
The stone field wall, which crosses the monument is excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

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

In the northern uplands a number of small hillforts or fortified enclosures of
varying shape have been identified. They are all located on hilltops or
distinctive craggy knolls, generally have an internal area of less than 1ha,
and are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more closely set
earthworks, usually ditches with or without adjacent banks or ramparts.
Ditches are often rock-cut and the associated ramparts, where they exist, are
usually largely of stone construction. These defences entirely surround the
interior except on sites located on promontories or rocky knolls, where cliffs
may form one or more sides of the monument. The layout of the site is heavily
dependent upon the topography of the location. The core area of the site,
where the main living accommodation was provided, normally occupies the
highest position on the hill or crag. Additional living or working areas are
also frequently located between or within the surrounding earthworks and may
take the form of rock-cut levelled areas which enhance lower natural terraces
on the hill. They are mostly of Iron Age date and are contemporary with other
more common hillfort types. Some, however, may have been reused or have been
new constructions in post-Roman times. Hillforts of this type are rare, with
fewer than 100 identified examples in England. In view of this rarity, their
importance for hillfort studies, and for understanding the nature of social
organisation within the Iron Age period, all examples with surviving
archaeological potential are considered to be of national importance.

The Iron Age multivallate hillfort and prehistoric trackway are well preserved
and will retain significant archaeological deposits. The monument is situated
within an area of clustered archaeological sites of high quality and forms
part of a wider archaeological landscape. As such it will make a significant
contribution to the study of the wider settlement pattern at this time.

Source: Historic England


NT 92 NE 39,

Source: Historic England

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