Defended settlement on Beanley Moor 780m east of Beanley South Side Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011550

Date first listed: 20-Sep-1993


Ordnance survey map of Defended settlement on Beanley Moor 780m east of Beanley South Side Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Hedgeley

National Grid Reference: NU 09157 18266


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

Reasons for Designation

During the later prehistoric period (7th - 5th centuries BC) a variety of different types of defensive settlements were 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. 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.

Despite some robbing of the surrounding rampart the defended settlement east of Beanley South Side Farm is reasonably 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 settlement in the vicinity; it will contribute to any study of the wider settlement pattern at this time.


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


The monument includes the remains of a defended settlement of Iron Age date situated on the western slope of Beanley Moor. The roughly circular enclosure is 50m east-west by 45m north-south within a single stoney rampart 9m wide and standing to a maximum height of 0.5m. The broad rampart has been much robbed of stone on the north and eastern sides giving the impression of there having been a double rampart. There is an entrance 4m wide through the rampart in the south-western side of the enclosure. Within the enclosure there are the well- preserved foundations of a prehistoric house situated against the south wall of the enclosure, immediately to the right of the entrance. The foundations are 7.5m in diameter and the walls stand to a height of 0.3m. Several other circular hollows may be the sites of further round houses.

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: 21026

Legacy System: RSM



End of official listing