Halidon Hill settlement
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1003657
Date first listed: 07-Mar-1977
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: NT 96798 54785
Hailidon Hill defended settlement.
Reasons for Designation
During the earlier Iron Age (seventh to fifth centuries BC) a variety of different types of defensive settlements began to be constructed and occupied in the northern uplands of England. The most obvious sites were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition to these a range of smaller sites, sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha and defined as defended settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others are found in less prominent positions. The enclosing defences were of earthen construction, some sites having a single bank and ditch (univallate), others having more than one (multivallate). At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Within the enclosure a number of stone or timber-built round houses were occupied by the inhabitants. Stock may also have been kept in these houses, especially during the cold winter months, or in enclosed yards outside them. The communities occupying these sites were probably single family groups, the defended settlements being used as farmsteads. Construction and use of this type of site extended over several centuries, possibly through to the early Romano-British period (mid to late first century AD). Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element of the later prehistoric settlement pattern of the northern uplands and are important for any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during this period.
The defended settlement by the summit of Halidon Hill is preserved as a cropmark and in places as a low earthwork. The analysis of aerial photography has indicated that the monument will contain archaeological deposits within features such as ditches and any remnant ramparts, which will provide insight into the monument construction, use and abandonment and environmental deposits relating to the use of the surrounding landscape. The monument provides insight into the character of fortification, settlement and subsistence during the Iron Age. Its presence within a medieval Registered Battlefield provides insight into changes in warfare between the Iron Age and the medieval periods and its value is further enhanced by its lying in close proximity to another similarly dated defended settlement located 660m to the east.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 2 June 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes the remains of a defended settlement of Iron Age date, situated on a south facing slope just off the summit of Halidon Hill. The enclosure is sub-oval in plan measuring 69m by 47m and is surrounded by a single bank with an inner and outer ditch, all of which are preserved as cropmarks and in places as very low earthworks. The defences of the enclosure are interrupted by entrances on the south east and south west sides.
The monument lies within the Battle of Halidon Hill Registered Battlefield and 660m west of a second Iron Age defended settlement that is also on Halidon Hill but is the subject of a separate scheduling.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: ND 591
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:- 4227
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing