Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Hut circle 320m west of Threestoneburn House

A Scheduled Monument in Ilderton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.4774 / 55°28'38"N

Longitude: -2.0463 / 2°2'46"W

OS Eastings: 397170.385757

OS Northings: 620394.748907

OS Grid: NT971203

Mapcode National: GBR G543.SB

Mapcode Global: WH9ZW.JLSB

Entry Name: Hut circle 320m west of Threestoneburn House

Scheduled Date: 20 July 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019924

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34224

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 a hut circle of prehistoric date situated on the south
bank of the Threestone Burn. Before modern afforestation, the position
afforded extensive views in all directions. The hut circle is visible as a
level circular enclosure 11m in diameter within foundations of a low stone
wall 1m wide which stands to a maximum height of 0.7m. The surrounding wall is
composed of stone and earth; large irregular boulders have been incorporated
into the walls of the hut circle on the east and west sides. There is an
entrance through the south wall of the hut circle which is visible as a gap 1m
wide; a similar sized gap through the north wall is thought to be the result
of more recent erosion. Attached to the south west side of the hut circle
there is a curving length of wall 10m long which is thought to be the remains
of a second, smaller hut circle with a diameter of about 5m across. This area
is, therefore, included in the scheduling.

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

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 320m west of Threestoneburn House is reasonably well-preserved
and will provide evidence of daily life in the Bronze Age through the
preservation of floor levels and domestic rubbish. It is part of a wider group
of well-preserved unenclosed hut circle settlements which lie to the north
west at Tathey Crags, Langlee Crags and Long Crags, and will thus add to any
study of settlement of this period.

Source: Historic England

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