Dunmallard small multivallate hillfort
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1008264
Date first listed: 30-Nov-1926
Date of most recent amendment: 06-Sep-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Eden (District Authority)
National Park: LAKE DISTRICT
National Grid Reference: NY 46770 24638
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, sometimes with guardrooms. 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. Evidence from outside numerous examples of
small multivallate hillforts suggests that extra-mural settlement was of a
similar nature. Small multivallate hillforts are rare with around 100 examples
recorded nationally. Most are located in the Welsh Marches and the south-west
with a concentration of small monuments in the north-east. 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
Dunmallard small multivallate hillfort is a small example of this class of monument and only has defences where the natural setting itself provides insufficient defence. It survives reasonably well and will retain evidence of the activities undertaken within the enclosure and the methods utilised in its defence.
The monument includes Dunmallard small multivallate hillfort, located on the
summit of Dunmallard hill overlooking the foot of Ullswater. It includes an
enclosure with internal measurements of approximately 92m north-south by 39m
east-west. The enclosure is defended on all sides except the central part of
the east side, where it has eroded down the steep slope, by a partly
stone-revetted bank measuring up to 9m wide and 3m high and an external ditch
measuring up to 9m wide and 1m deep. A second bank and ditch of slighter
proportions protect the northern end of the site. The entrance into the
hillfort's interior is located at the southern end of the western side where a
narrow gap penetrates obliquely through the defences.
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: 23685
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Challis, , Harding, , 'British Archaeological Reports' in Later Prehistory from the Trent to the Tyne, , Vol. 20 ptii, (1975), 122,46
Taylor, M W, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. Old Ser.' in On The Vestiges of Celtic Occupation Near Ullswater, , Vol. I, (1870), 157-9
AM107A (FMW Report), Crow, J, Dunmallet Hill Fort, (1984)
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