Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric enclosure south west of Brands Hill and 870m east of Langlee

A Scheduled Monument in Ilderton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5027 / 55°30'9"N

Longitude: -2.0436 / 2°2'36"W

OS Eastings: 397346.047563

OS Northings: 623216.264085

OS Grid: NT973232

Mapcode National: GBR G45T.C7

Mapcode Global: WH9ZP.LY2F

Entry Name: Prehistoric enclosure south west of Brands Hill and 870m east of Langlee

Scheduled Date: 18 June 1973

Last Amended: 16 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016141

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29325

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Ilderton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Ilderton St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a prehistoric enclosure situated on the
gentle slopes of moorland south west of Brands Hill and 340m east of Langlee.
There are wide views to the east. It comprises an oval enclosure 35m by 41m
overall and is enclosed by a bank of earth and stone 5m wide. The kerb stones
of the enclosure bank can be traced around its outer edge and there is the
slight indication of a possible entrance on the east side. The interior of the
enclosure is scooped into the hillside to a depth of c.1m, creating a levelled
platform. A later sheepfold, now ruinous, has been built on top of the
enclosure bank reusing the core material of the enclosure bank. The enclosure
is similar in character to another enclosure lying 550m to the north east
which has been compared to a type of small defended site found in Scotland and
known as a dun.

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 Cumbria and Northumberland several distinctive types of native settlements
dating to the Roman period have been identified. The majority were small, non-
defensive, enclosed homesteads or farms. In many areas they were of stone
construction, although in the coastal lowlands timber-built variants were also
common. In much of Northumberland, especially in the Cheviots, the enclosures
were curvilinear in form. Further south a rectangular form was more common.
Elsewhere, especially near the Scottish border, another type occurs where the
settlement enclosure was `scooped' into the hillslope. Frequently the
enclosures reveal a regularity and similarity of internal layout. The standard
layout included one or more stone round-houses situated towards the rear of
the enclosure, facing the single entranceway. In front of the houses were
pathways and small enclosed yards. Homesteads normally had only one or two
houses, but larger enclosures could contain as many as six. At some sites the
settlement appears to have grown, often with houses spilling out of the main
enclosure and clustered around it. At these sites up to 30 houses may be
found. In the Cumbrian uplands the settlements were of less regimented form
and unenclosed clusters of houses of broadly contemporary date are also known.
These homesteads were being constructed and used by non-Roman natives
throughout the period of the Roman occupation. Their origins lie in settlement
forms developed before the arrival of the Romans. These homesteads are common
throughout the uplands where they frequently survive as well-preserved
earthworks. In lowland coastal areas they were also originally common,
although there they can frequently only be located through aerial photography.
All homestead sites which survive substantially intact will normally be
identified as nationally important.

The prehistoric enclosure south west of Brands Hill is reasonably well
preserved and will retain significant archaeological deposits. Its importance
is enhanced by the survival of other, broadly contemporary, homesteads and
enclosures on nearby Brands Hill. It lies in an area of clustered sites whose
archaeological remains survive well and forms part of a wider archaeological
landscape. It will contribute to any study of the wider settlement pattern in
the Cheviots during this period.

Source: Historic England

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