Multivallate hillfort, 483m south west of Clinch


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 03142 14673

Reasons for Designation

Small multivallate hillforts are defined as fortified enclosures of varying shape, generally between 1 and 5ha in size and located on hilltops. They are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set earthworks spaced at intervals of up to 15m. These entirely surround the interior except on sites located on promontories, where cliffs may form one or more sides of the monument. They date to the Iron Age period, most having been constructed and occupied between the sixth century BC and the mid-first century AD. Small multivallate hillforts are generally regarded as settlements of high status, occupied on a permanent basis. Recent interpretations suggest that the construction of multiple earthworks may have had as much to do with display as with defence. Earthworks may consist of a rampart alone or of a rampart and ditch which, on many sites, are associated with counterscarp banks and internal quarry scoops. Access to the interior is generally provided by one or two entrances, which either appear as simple gaps in the earthwork or inturned passages, sometimes with guardrooms. The interior generally consists of settlement evidence including round houses, four and six post structures interpreted as raised granaries, roads, pits, gullies, hearths and a variety of scattered post and stake holes. Evidence from outside numerous examples of small multivallate hillforts suggests that extra-mural settlement was of a similar nature. Small multivallate hillforts are rare with around 100 examples recorded nationally. Most are located in the Welsh Marches and the south-west with a concentration of small monuments in the north-east. In view of the rarity of small multivallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the nature of settlement and social organisation within the Iron Age period, all examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance. The multivallate hillfort 483m south west of Clinch is well preserved and a good example of its type. Its importance is enhanced as it is part of a wider group of hillforts in the Cheviot Hills. The Iron Age defended settlements on Old Fawdon Hill and Chubden Hill are visible to the south west and the rich prehistoric landscape of Ingram Farm lies to the west. Taken together the monuments provide significant insight into the changing character of upland occupation from the Iron Age into the Romano-British period.


The monument includes a multivallate hillfort of Iron Age date, situated on the summit of Castle Knowe. It has steep natural slopes on its west and north sides, gentle slopes on its south and east sides and is overlooked by Gibbs Hill and the eastern knoll of West Hill. The hillfort is sub-circular and measures approximately 60m north to south by 75m east to west. It is surrounded by three roughly concentric ramparts formed by scarping the natural slope. The outer rampart is the most substantial and stands to a maximum height of 2.8m externally and 0.9m internally. On the western side of the hillfort, the inner and middle ramparts merge together. There are three entrances, on the north, east and south sides; that on the eastern side is original and the rampart terminals are slightly inturned. The interior of the hillfort contains the remains of at least seven hut circles, four of which are near the summit of the hill and are visible as partly rock-cut depressions. The hut circles range in diameter from 3.8m to 8.4m and three are intercut, indicating that more than one phase of occupation occurred within the hillfort.

SOURCES PastScape Monument No:- 5341 NMR:- NU01SW4 Northumberland HER:- 3193


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

Legacy System number:
ND 187
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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