Fawdon Hill defended settlement, 900m north-west of Closehead
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Jun-2021 at 03:53:38.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- NY 89634 93995
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
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.
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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
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
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