St Gregory's Hill camp
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1006535
Date first listed: 23-Aug-1935
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Park: NORTHUMBERLAND
National Grid Reference: NT 91610 29798
Defended settlement and settlement enclosure, 410m SSE of Kirknewton House.
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 majority of the defended settlement and settlement enclosure SSE of Kirknewton House is preserved in reasonable condition. The significance of the monument is increased by the complexity of its secondary Romano-British occupation and further enhanced by the proximity of the broadly contemporary and similarly complex multi-period settlement site on West Hill to the WSW. The monument will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and sequential development.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 May 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 a univallate defended settlement of Iron Age date with a superimposed settlement enclosure of Romano-British date, situated on a rise near the summit of St Gregory’s Hill with steep slopes to the north and west and being overlooked by the summit of the hill to the south and east. The defended settlement comprises of a single rampart of earth and stone, which follows the contours of the hill and has an approximate width of 6m and an external height of 1.8m. The rampart contains an entrance on its north east and on its east and south side it is preserved as a negative feature as stone robbing has removed part of the bank. At least one hut circle within the enclosure dates to this initial phase of occupation. During the Romano-British period a second phase of occupation occurred within the enclosure. A second concentric inner bank was constructed which has an approximate width of 5m and a height of roughly 1.4m externally. This secondary phase of occupation is complex with survey indicating that two settlements occupy the interior of the defended settlement. The remains of these settlements include at least 12 hut circles, which vary in diameter from 6m to 10m.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: ND 222
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:- 3028
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