Camp Knowe univallate hillfort, 700m north-west of Clennell


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
NT 92564 07826

Reasons for Designation

Slight univallate hillforts are defined as enclosures of various shapes, generally between 1ha and 10ha in size, situated on or close to hilltops and defined by a single line of earthworks, the scale of which is relatively small. They date to between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth - fifth centuries BC), the majority being used for between 150 and 200 years prior to their abandonment or reconstruction. Slight univallate hillforts have generally been interpreted as stock enclosures, redistribution centres, places of refuge and permanent settlements. The earthworks generally include a rampart, narrow level berm, external ditch and counterscarp bank, while access to the interior is usually provided by two entrances comprising either simple gaps in the earthwork or an inturned rampart. Postholes revealed by excavation indicate the occasional presence of portal gateways while more elaborate features like overlapping ramparts and outworks are limited to only a few examples. Internal features include square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six postholes and interpreted as raised granaries, timber or stone round houses, large storage pits and hearths as well as scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies. Slight univallate hillforts are rare with around 150 examples recorded nationally. Although on a national scale the number is low, in Devon they comprise one of the major classes of hillfort. In other areas where the distribution is relatively dense, for example, Wessex, Sussex, the Cotswolds and the Chilterns, hillforts belonging to a number of different classes occur within the same region. Examples are also recorded in eastern England, the Welsh Marches, central and southern England. In view of the rarity of slight univallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all examples which survive comparatively well and have potential for the recovery of further archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

The univallate hillfort north-west of Clennell is well preserved and substantial and significant archaeological deposits survive. The commanding situation of this fort suggests that it was a settlement of some importance in the region. The later Romano-British site is also well preserved and will contribute to the study of the changing pattern of settlement in this area in the later prehistoric period.


The monument includes a univallate hillfort of Iron Age date situated in a commanding position on the highest part of a spur overlooking the River Alwin and its confluence with the River Coquet to the south. The fort, roughly oval in shape, measures 96m north-east to south-west by 80m north-west to south-east within a substantial rampart of earth and stone measuring 4m across and varying in height from 1m-2m. The site is naturally defended on the north-west side by steep precipitous slopes and, reflecting this security, the rampart here is slighter and 2m-3m wide with a maximum height of 0.3m. The rampart is separated from a counterscarp bank by a broad berm which measures 5m across; the counterscarp bank, which is not carried around the north-west side, is a maximum of 4m wide and stands to a maximum height of 1m. The south-eastern defences have been overlain by a later field wall. Original entrances lie in the south and south-east side of the fort. A low bank runs from both entrances towards the centre of the site, where the stone foundations of up to three circular houses 7m in diameter are visible, all with entrances in their south-east sides. Within the enclosure, north of the south-east entrance there is an unusual structure consisting of an enclosure containing a small circular building 3m in diameter situated upon a mound in its north-west corner. The latter enclosure, the stone houses and internal dividing walls are consistent with Romano-British reuse of the Iron Age fort.

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 4 ser 11' in Native Settlements of Northumberland, (1947), 164
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Hill Forts and Settlements in Northumberland, (1965), 62
NT 90 NW 02,


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