Multivallate defended settlement, 350m north-east of Wood House

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007453

Date first listed: 22-Mar-1949

Date of most recent amendment: 01-Dec-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of Multivallate defended settlement, 350m north-east of Wood House
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Hedgeley

National Grid Reference: NU 09306 17820

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

During the later prehistoric period (7th - 5th centuries BC) a variety of different types of defensive settlements were 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. 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 defended settlement north-east of Wood House is very well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the survival of similar and other forms of later prehistoric settlement in the vicinity; it will contribute to any study of the wider settlement pattern at this time.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a defended settlement of Iron Age date situated in a good defensive position on the highest part of a hill with a precipitous drop to the west. The roughly oval enclosure is 50m south-west to north-east within triple ramparts of earth and stone. All three ramparts are very well preserved but the inner is the strongest being 4-10m wide and standing to a height of 2m. The two outer ramparts form two annexes in which stock may have been held. The ramparts are on average 4m wide and 1.2m high. There are entrances through the ramparts in the north-west and in the south-east quadrants of the settlement, both of which are lined by large stones. Within the enclosure there are the stone foundations of one circular prehistoric house 8m in diameter; other houses may survive but are obscured by dense vegetation cover.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 21021

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Hill Forts and Settlements in Northumberland, (1965), 21-64
Other
68,

End of official listing