Castle Steads slight univallate hillfort


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009322

Date first listed: 17-Jun-1970

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Oct-1994


Ordnance survey map of Castle Steads slight univallate hillfort
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Oct-2018 at 11:15:48.


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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Richmondshire (District Authority)

Parish: Caldbergh with East Scrafton


National Grid Reference: SE 10508 85329


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 150 to 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 included timber or stone round houses; large storage pits and hearths; scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies; and square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six posts, often represented by postholes, and interpreted as raised granaries. 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.

Despite later cultivation within the interior of the fort which will have caused some disturbance to original features, the site remains readily identifiable. The ramparts survive reasonably well, whilst the rig and furrow will mask evidence of original features within the interior.


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


Castle Steads univallate hillfort is situated on a north facing hillslope with ground rising very steeply to the south. The fort, measuring 125m overall east to west by 60m overall north to south, is enclosed by a ditch with inner and outer stone ramparts. The best preserved section of the ditch lies to the north east and has dimensions of 9m wide by 2.2m deep. The ditch and ramparts have been dug in the north, west and east only, the south side utilizing the steep, natural slopes of the hill behind. Two entrances are located almost centrally in the east and west ends. A modern track now crosses the site at these points, forming a gap of 3m. There is also a break in the bank of 2m on the north side. The interior of the enclosure is uneven and has been cultivated in the past as indicated by the earthwork rig and furrow evident across it. This rig and furrow masks evidence of the earlier internal features.

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: 24485

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing