Defended settlement, 790m WNW of Howemoor Plantation


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NU 02576 26623

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. All well-preserved examples are believed to be of national importance. The defended settlement 790m WNW of Howemoor Plantation is a well-preserved example of its type which contains archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment, and environmental deposits relating to the use of the surrounding landscape. It also provides insight into the character of settlement, subsistence and fortification during the Iron Age.


The monument includes a defended settlement of Iron Age date situated on a north to south ridge overlooked by the summit of Trickley Hill to the north east. The sub-circular enclosure measures approximately 86m by 84m and is surrounded by a single stone and earth rampart. There is a counterscarp bank and medial ditch on the north side around the area of an entrance, which continues around to the western side. The rampart varies in width from 2m to 5m and in height from 0.3m to 1m. The counterscarp bank is visible as a low earthwork approximately 2m wide. The remains of a farm building and a concrete water tank within the interior of the monument and a modern boundary wall which crosses the monument on the south east side are all excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

SOURCES PastScape Monument No:- 5572 NMR:- NU02NW8 Northumberland HER:- 3285


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

Legacy System number:
ND 220
Legacy System:


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

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