Multivallate hillfort, 70m east of Campville


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011394

Date first listed: 01-Nov-1963

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Aug-1993


Ordnance survey map of Multivallate hillfort, 70m east of Campville
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 22-Feb-2019 at 18:36:57.


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

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Harbottle


National Grid Reference: NT 94783 02515

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 potential are believed to be of national importance.

The hillfort at Campville is reasonably well preserved and its semi-circular form is not common in Northumberland. Despite the fact that some of the original area has been destroyed, significant archaeological deposits will survive undisturbed. It will contribute to any study of the nature and extent of prehistoric settlement and activity in the region.


The monument includes a hillfort of Iron Age date situated in a defensive position on an eastern slope above the steep slopes of Dovecrag Burn. The enclosure, originally semi-circular in shape, bounded on the south by the burn, has been partially destroyed by the construction of the settlement at Campville and now only the eastern half is visible. The enclosure is 65m in breadth within three banks and two ditches. The defences are best preserved at the eastern end where the outer bank is 7.5m wide and rises almost 3m above an internal ditch 2m wide. The inner bank measures 6.5m across and is 1.3m high. At the northern end of the fort there is a third, more denuded rampart separated from the inner rampart by a narrow ditch. A wide, original entrance can clearly be seen in the east side of the enclosure.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 20949

Legacy System: RSM


NT 90 SW 10,

End of official listing