Defended settlement, 400m west of Titlington Mount
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007447
Date first listed: 19-Jan-1967
Date of most recent amendment: 23-Feb-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: NU 09583 16116
Reasons for Designation
During the mid-prehistoric period (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
Despite some damage from forestry ploughing, the defended settlement west of Titlington Mount is very well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the survival of other forms of later prehistoric settlement in the vicinity; it will contribute to any study of the wider settlement pattern at this time.
The monument includes a defended settlement of Iron Age date situated part of
the way down a sloping ridge and overlooked by higher ground to the west. The
roughly pear shaped enclosure is 55m east-west by 80m north-south within a
single earth and stone rampart 5m to 9m wide which stands to a maximum height
of 3m. On the western side of the enclosure there is an additional outer line
of defence; this consists of a bank situated 60m beyond the inner rampart
which is 5m wide and up to 1.5m high. The construction of this extra rampart
created an open space or annexe between it and the inner rampart. Outside this
bank there is a slight ditch 3m wide and 0.5m deep. Within the main enclosure
there are the remains of several hut circles and at least two others are
reported to lie within the annexe on the west. Two breaks in the outer and
inner rampart in the north-western quadrant of the monument are believed to
represent the sites of entrances into the enclosure.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 21015
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Hill Forts and Settlements in Northumberland, (1965), 61
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