Defended settlement, 470m south west of Haining


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009608

Date first listed: 19-Jan-1968

Date of most recent amendment: 25-Apr-1994


Ordnance survey map of Defended settlement, 470m south west of Haining
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Elsdon

National Grid Reference: NY 92135 92439

Reasons for Designation

During the mid-prehistoric period (seventh to fifth centuries BC) a variety of different types of defensive settlements began to be 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. Construction and use of this type of site extended over several centuries, possibly through to the early Romano-British period (mid to late first century AD). 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 importance.

The defended settlement south west of Haining is well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the survival of similar and other forms of later prehistoric and Romano-British settlement in the area; it will contribute to any study of the wider settlement pattern at this time.


The monument includes the remains of an irregular shaped univallate defended settlement of Iron Age date situated below the top of a hill on a north facing slope. The roughly oval settlement measures a maximum of 85m north east to south west by 62m north west to south east within a rampart and ditch and traces of a counter-scarp bank. The rampart of earth and stone is 5m wide and stands to a maximum height of 1.5m above the bottom of the surrounding ditch which is 6m across. The counter-scarp bank, best preserved on the western side surrounds the ditch and is 0.9m high above the bottom of the ditch. There is an entrance, 2m wide, in the north east side of the enclosure. The plantation fence line which crosses the western side of the monument 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: 21040

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hope-Dodds, M, The Victoria History of the County of Northumberland: Volume XV, (1940), 56
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Aniq Ncle 4 ser 11' in Native Settlements of Northumberland, (1946), 169
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Hill Forts and Settlements in Northumberland, (1965), 51-53

End of official listing