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
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Park: NORTHUMBERLAND
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
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,
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