Ancient Monuments

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Unenclosed hut circle settlement 1060m north west of Ilderton Moor

A Scheduled Monument in Ilderton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.4874 / 55°29'14"N

Longitude: -1.9917 / 1°59'30"W

OS Eastings: 400621.3415

OS Northings: 621504.9423

OS Grid: NU006215

Mapcode National: GBR G4JZ.LR

Mapcode Global: WH9ZX.CBTN

Entry Name: Unenclosed hut circle settlement 1060m north west of Ilderton Moor

Scheduled Date: 7 August 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019930

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34230

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 an unenclosed hut circle settlement of
Bronze Age date situated on level ground overlooked by Heddon Hill to the
south. The settlement comprises two hut circles and three cairns.
The hut circles are visible as level circular enclosures: the northernmost hut
circle measures 10m in diameter within the foundations of a low stone wall
1.7m wide and 0.2m high; the southernmost hut circle measures 9m across within
walls 1.3m wide and 0.1m high. Scattered between the hut circles are three
cairns, each oriented east to west, and constructed of stone and earth. The
most northerly cairn is oval in shape and measures 5m by 3.5m in diameter and
stands to a maximum height of 0.5m. The southernmost cairn is also oval in
shape and measures 4m by 3m and stands 0.3m high. The central cairn, which
measures 4m by 3.5m overall, is horseshoe-shaped and enclosed on the north,
south and west sides by a bank 1.5m wide and 0.3m high. The settlement 200m to
the south is 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 unenclosed hut circle settlement 1060m north west of Ilderton Moor is
well-preserved and will provide evidence of life in the Bronze Age through the
preservation of floor levels and domestic rubbish within the hut circles. In
addition, evidence of agricultural practices will be preserved within, beneath
and between the cairn and hut circles. Evidence relating to the wider Bronze
Age environment is also likely to survive in the form of preserved pollen
grains. The settlement is one of a group of well-preserved prehistoric sites
on Heddon Hill and forms part of a wider archaeological landscape. It will
contribute to any study of settlement and land use during this period.

Source: Historic England


NU 02 SW 42,

Source: Historic England

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