Ancient Monuments

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Bronze Age round house on Fredden Hill 880m south west of Bell's Valley

A Scheduled Monument in Akeld, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5351 / 55°32'6"N

Longitude: -2.0774 / 2°4'38"W

OS Eastings: 395214.045015

OS Northings: 626823.260335

OS Grid: NT952268

Mapcode National: GBR F4YF.1M

Mapcode Global: WH9ZP.241J

Entry Name: Bronze Age round house on Fredden Hill 880m south west of Bell's Valley

Scheduled Date: 2 December 1982

Last Amended: 27 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018021

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29343

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Akeld

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Wooler St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


This monument includes the remains of a prehistoric circular enclosure
situated on the north west slopes of Fredden Hill. Extensive views to the
north and west are now obscured by afforestation. The enclosure is defined by
a single bank of earth and stone 2m wide and up to 0.2m high with an entrance
4m wide in the west side. The enclosure is interpreted as a round house of
Bronze Age date. Extensive field systems, also believed to be of Bronze Age
date, lie to the north and west of Fredden Hill and are the subject of a
separate scheduling.

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 Bronze Age round house on Fredden Hill is resonably well preserved and
retains significant archaeological deposits. It lies within a wider landscape
of archaeological sites whose remains are well preserved. It will contribute
to any study of the wider settlement pattern in the northern Cheviots at this

Source: Historic England


NT 92 NE 86,
University of Newcastle AP Collection, T Gates, NT/9527/I, (1978)

Source: Historic England

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