The Ringses hillfort, Romano-British settlement, burial mounds and cairns, 550m south west of Broomhouse.
Reasons for Designation
Small multivallate hillforts are fortified enclosures of varying shape and 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. They date to the Iron Age period, and 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. 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. Small multivallate hillforts are rare with around 100 examples recorded nationally. 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 Ringses hillfort, Romano-British settlement, burial mounds and cairns 550m south west of Broomhouse represent a range of archaeological remains dating from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age. The individual components of the monument vary in character and each is rare and considered to be of national importance. The individual features of the monument hold information relating to settlement, social organisation, burial and religion within the Bronze Age and Iron Age. As a group the components provide information on the development and changing use of the landscape.
The Ringses hillfort is well-preserved and is an excellent example of its type. The monument will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment and environmental deposits relating to the use of the surrounding landscape.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 11 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, which is divided into three separate areas of protection, includes a small multivallate hillfort of Iron Age date with an overlying hut-circle settlement of later prehistoric date, two round cairns and a number of round mounds of Bronze Age date situated on gently sloping ground on Beanley Moor. The hillfort is visible as a sub-circular enclosure measuring a maximum of roughly 46m by 43m within three concentric banks and ditches. The surrounding ramparts vary in height from 0.5-4.0m and in width from 4m to 8m and they decrease in height and width from the outer to the inner. The hillfort has two entrances to the east and west with the west entrance being well defined and having transverse banks along its north and south sides forming “guard chambers”. Within the inner ditch lies the remains of a hut circle which represents part of the Romano-British reoccupation of the monument.
Situated about 100m north west of the west entrance of the hillfort there is an oval knoll, upon which are two cairns connected by a semi-circular line of stones, some of which stand on edge. Situated about 210m south east of the ramparts of the hillfort there are at least 12 small mounds. Both sets of features are interpreted as Bronze Age clearance cairns or burial mounds. Further archaeological remains exist in the vicinity of the monument but have not been included as they have not been assessed.