Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Prehistoric hut circle on Harehope Hill, 400m south east of Gleadscleugh

A Scheduled Monument in Akeld, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5523 / 55°33'8"N

Longitude: -2.0728 / 2°4'22"W

OS Eastings: 395502.505047

OS Northings: 628738.265726

OS Grid: NT955287

Mapcode National: GBR F4Z7.1G

Mapcode Global: WH9ZH.4P6W

Entry Name: Prehistoric hut circle on Harehope Hill, 400m south east of Gleadscleugh

Scheduled Date: 29 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017957

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29342

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


This monument includes a prehistoric hut circle situated on the western slopes
of Harehope Hill on a natural ledge near the crest of a steep north facing
slope. The hut circle measures externally 10m north-south by 11m east-west and
is defined by a roughly circular earth and rubble bank up to 0.5m high. The
monument is partly levelled into the slope to create a level platform. There
is an entrance in the north west side and a possible entrance in the east
side. On the east side there is an annexe 6m wide, the south edge of which is
retained by large boulders.

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

Unenclosed hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric
farmers. The hut circles take a variety of forms. Some are stone based and are
visible as low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area. Others were
timber constructions and only the shallow groove in which the timber uprights
used in the wall construction stood can now be identified; this may survive as
a slight earthwork feature or may be visible on aerial photographs. Some can
only be identified by the artificial earthwork platforms created as level
stances for the houses. The number of houses in a settlement varies between
one and twelve. In areas where they were constructed on hillslopes the
platforms on which the houses stood are commonly arrayed in tiers along the
contour of the slope. Several settlements have been shown to be associated
with organised field plots, the fields being defined by low stony banks or
indicated by groups of clearance cairns.
Many unenclosed settlements have been shown to date to the Bronze Age but it
is also clear that they were still being constructed and used in the Early
Iron Age. They provide an important contrast to the various types of enclosed
and defended settlements which were also being constructed and used around the
same time. Their longevity of use and their relationship with other monument
types provides important information on the diversity of social organisation
and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities.

The hut circle on Harehope Hill 400m south east of Gleadscleugh survives well.
It is undisturbed and retains significant archaeological deposits relating to
its construction and use. The hut circle is situated within an area of roughly
contemporary well preserved archaeological sites and will contribute to the
study of the settlement pattern during this period.

Source: Historic England


NT 92 NE 77,

Source: Historic England

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