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Iron Age defended settlement and cultivation terraces 600m north east of Brown's Law Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Wooler, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5421 / 55°32'31"N

Longitude: -2.0388 / 2°2'19"W

OS Eastings: 397645.873123

OS Northings: 627595.269913

OS Grid: NT976275

Mapcode National: GBR G46C.D4

Mapcode Global: WH9ZH.NYBR

Entry Name: Iron Age defended settlement and cultivation terraces 600m north east of Brown's Law Cottage

Scheduled Date: 14 December 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019139

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31732

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Wooler

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Wooler St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement situated on a hilltop
above the Humbleton Burn. There are steep natural slopes on the east and south
sides. The settlement comprises an oval enclosure defined by two banks, with
an additional bank on the south west side. The natural slopes have been used
to enhance the defences, which are best preserved on the north side where the
outer bank stands up to 0.5m high and the inner bank stands up to 1m high.
Around the remaining sides the banks are visible as spread scarps up to 0.3m
high. At the south west side the outer bank encloses an annexe and has an
additional bank to provide defence. The entrance, 2.5m wide, lies in the north
west side. Inside the settlement are two circular hut platforms which stand up
to 0.1m high. Outside the settlement, on the north west side, is a series of
cultivation terraces which overlie the outer bank. These are similar to other
cultivation terraces in the north Cheviots which are considered to be of later
prehistoric date.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 defended settlement and cultivation terraces near Brown's Law
Cottage survive reasonably well and retain significant archaeological
deposits. They are part of a wider group of archaeological sites whose remains
are well preserved which survive in the northern Cheviots and will contribute
to any study of settlement and land use during this period.

Source: Historic England


Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle, Gates, T M, NT/9727/I, (1986)

Source: Historic England

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