Henge 600yds (550m) E of Akeld Lodge
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1006446
Date first listed: 11-Jun-1973
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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 95894 30700
West Akeld Steads Henge and pit circle, 500m west of Akeld Lodge.
Reasons for Designation
Henges are ritual or ceremonial centres which usually date to the Late Neolithic period (2800-2000 BC). They were constructed as roughly circular or oval- shaped enclosures comprising a flat area over 20m in diameter enclosed by a ditch and external bank. One, two or four entrances provided access to the interior of the monument, which may have contained a variety of features including timber or stone circles, post or stone alignments, pits, burials or central mounds. Finds from the ditches and interiors of henges provide important evidence for the chronological development of the sites, the types of activity that occurred within them and the nature of the environment in which they were constructed. Henges occur throughout England with the exception of south-eastern counties and the Welsh Marches. They are generally situated on low ground, often close to springs and water-courses. Henges are rare nationally with about 80 known examples. As one of the few types of identified Neolithic structures and in view of their comparative rarity, all henges are considered to be of national importance.
West Akeld Steads Henge is preserved as a cropmark and analysis of aerial photographs has revealed the presence of below ground features such as pit circle and the encircling ditch. These features will contain archaeological deposits which will provide important insight into the date and character of use of the henge. The monument is extremely representative of its period and, lying on low ground near a major river, occupies a classic landscape setting for its type. It lies within a landscape of important archaeological sites including the henges of East Marleyknowe, the Coupland Henge, Milfield North and Milfield South, which lie to the north west. Taken together these monuments form a complex of ritual monuments comparable with the most important Neolithic landscapes of England. The presence of a pit-circle within the henge makes the monument rare within its type, but has important comparisons with the Late Neolithic pit-circle henge on Cranborne Chase, Maumbury Rings at Dorchester, the Durrington 67 pit circle near Woodhenge, Wiltshire and the Milfield North henge which lies 5km to the north west of West Akeld Steads Henge.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 1 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. A
The monument includes the remains of a Neolithic/Early Bronze Age henge with an internal pit circle, situated on level ground approximately 480m north of the River Glen. The sub-oval enclosure measures roughly 27m by 35m and is surrounded by a single bank, preserved as a cropmark with an internal ditch. The ditch varies in width from 5m to 10m being noticeably broader on the north east and south west sides and is interrupted by opposed causewayed entrances on the north west and south east sides. Within the interior is a concentric ring of at least ten pits located close to the ditch with further pits in the interior including a large central pit interpreted as a grave.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: ND 532
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:- 3781
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