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Palisaded settlement, 740m north west of Northfieldhead

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Palisaded settlement, 740m north west of Northfieldhead

List entry Number: 1006412

Location

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Northumberland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Alnham

National Park: NORTHUMBERLAND

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 01-Feb-1980

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

UID: ND 633

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

A palisaded hilltop enclosure is a small defended site of domestic function dating to the Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age (c.550-440 BC). Their distribution is largely restricted to north-eastern England, the Borders and southern Scotland. They are generally located on spurs, promontories or hilltops covering areas of less than 0.4ha. The boundaries of these sites are marked by single or double rock-cut trenches which originally formed the settings for substantial palisades. Remains of circular buildings are found within the palisaded areas, along with evidence for fenced stock enclosures. Palisaded sites are the earliest type of defended settlements recorded in the area and are thought to be a product of increasingly unsettled social conditions in the later prehistoric period. They imply an extensive use of timber, confirmation that large areas were heavily wooded at this time. Although the palisades at individual sites may have undergone several phases of replacement or refurbishment it is thought that the tradition of building this type of site spanned only around 150 years. After this the use of earthen banks and ditches to form the defensive perimeter became more common. Excavation has demonstrated that at several sites the earthen defences were preceded by timber palisades. Palisaded enclosures are a rare monument type with fewer than 200 known examples. They are an important element of the later prehistoric settlement pattern and are important for any study of the developing use of defended settlements during the later prehistoric period. All identified surviving examples are believed to be nationally important. The palisaded settlement 740m north west of Northfieldhead is well-preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits relating to the construction, use and abandonment of the site and environmental deposits relating to the use of the surrounding landscape. As a rare monument type nationally, and representing more than one phase of occupation, this example will provides insight into the character of settlement and subsistence during the Iron Age and the manner in which this developed over time.

History

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Details

The monument includes the remains of an Iron Age palisaded settlement situated on the north-eastern edge of Northfield Hill. The sub-circular enclosure measures 57m by 62m and is denoted by a single bank visible as a low earthwork, which is interrupted by a 2.5m wide entrance. Within the interior of the settlement, there are the remains of at least 15 timber built round houses with an average diameter of 8m. The majority of the round houses are visible as 'ring-grooves' with at least four of them being double ring-grooves. The internal remains represent more than one phase of occupation.

SOURCES PastScape Monument No:- 1033839 NMR:- NT91SE26 Northumberland HER:- 1355

Selected Sources

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National Grid Reference: NT 98373 11979

Map

Map
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This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2017 at 05:24:21.

End of official listing