Fawdon Hill defended settlement, 900m north-west of Closehead

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007527

Date first listed: 23-Jan-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Sep-1993

Map

Ordnance survey map of Fawdon Hill defended settlement, 900m north-west of Closehead
© 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: Otterburn

National Grid Reference: NY 89634 93995

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-west of Closehead is very well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It will contribute to our knowledge and understanding of prehistoric settlement and activity in the area.

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 on the summit of Fawdon Hill commanding extensive views over the valleys of the Rede, Otter and Girsonfield Burns. The settlement, roughly sub-circular in shape, measures 60m east-west by 70m north-south, within a single rampart and ditch and a counterscarp bank. The well preserved rampart varies between 1.2m and 2.4m high above the bottom of the external ditch which is 6m wide. On the north-eastern side of the enclosure only, there are traces of a second ditch inside the rampart, presumably the most vulnerable side. A slight counterscarp bank surrounds the encircling ditch, formed from the material dug out of the ditch during its construction. There are two original entrances into the enclosure; they are both of simple form, the principal one being situated in the south side and a narrower one situated in the north-west side. Within the enclosure there are traces of a single timber round house visible as a low bank of earth 4m in diameter situated near the centre. The stone field wall which dissects the enclosure is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath it is included.

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: 21043

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle' in Native Sites In Northumberland, (1946), 169
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Hill Forts and Settlements in Northumberland, (1965), 63
Other
4864,

End of official listing