Soldiers Fold univallate hillfort, 300m south-west of Swindon


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008886

Date first listed: 19-Feb-1993


Ordnance survey map of Soldiers Fold univallate hillfort, 300m south-west of Swindon
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Hepple


National Grid Reference: NY 97159 99461


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

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.

Soldiers Fold hillfort survives in a very good state of preservation with no sign of major disturbance. It is one of several hillforts in the vicinity of the River Coquet and it will contribute to the study of later Prehistoric settlement and activity along this river valley.


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


The monument includes a hillfort of Iron Age date situated on a north-west facing slope naturally defended on its northern side above the Grasslees Burn. The oval enclosure measures 82m north-east to south-west by 55m north-west to south-east within a single rampart and ditch on the east, west and south sides; the northern portion of the rampart is now obscured by a modern terraced track which clips the northern edge of the monument. The very well preserved rampart is 6m wide and stands in places up to 1.8m in height; on the southern side there are clear traces of a dry stone wall revetment. The ditch is up to 1.7m deep and 8m wide. There are no definite traces of an entrance but slight indications of a causeway across the ditch, accompanied by a break in the rampart at the south-west corner of the circuit, may represent an original entrance. The monument is dissected by a hollow way which may obscure other original entrances on the north-east and south-west sides. A large circular scooped area in the south-western part of the interior represents the site of a round house. Additionally two other less well defined scooped areas towards the north-east corner of the monument may indicate further occupation.

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: 20913

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana, 4 ser 42' in Enclosed Stone Built Settlements in Northumberland, (1964)
NY 99 NE 12,

End of official listing