Multivallate hillfort and enclosed settlement , 475m NNE of Old Hazeltonrig.
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. 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 multivallate hillfort and settlement enclosures 475m NNE of Old Hazeltonrig are well-preserved and good examples of their type. The monument provides insight into the character of settlement and economy in the Iron Age. The presence of Romano-British settlement within the monument enhances its importance and allows the study of settlement continuity across the crucial Iron Age/Romano-British period division.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 16 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 multivallate hillfort of Iron Age date and the remains of a Romano-British settlement, situated on the summit of Castle Hill. The monument occupies a prominent location at 290m OD with steep natural slopes on its south west side and more gradual slopes on its remaining sides. The hillfort is visible as a sub-circular enclosure, which encloses an area of about 0.4ha. within three concentric banks and ditches, except for the south west side where the outer and middle ramparts have been amalgamated due to the steepness of the natural slope. The ramparts are constructed from earth and stone using material excavated from the ditches. The inner rampart is up to 3.0m in height, the middle rampart stands to a maximum of 2.2m and the outer rampart to a maximum of 4.0m on its outer side. The outer ditch has a maximum depth of 2.0m on its west side. The hillfort has three entrances to the east, south east and west. The height of the outer rampart is exaggerated in the vicinity of the entrances.
Within the interior of the hillfort and contemporary with it, there are at least five hut circles, varying in diameter from 5-8m and standing to a maximum height of 0.4m. Two of these buildings flank the entrance through the inner rampart on its east side. The earthwork remains of an enclosed Romano-British settlement are also situated within the interior of the hillfort; the settlement includes at least four small enclosures, at least one of which contains two circular building platforms.