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Defended settlement on Slate Hill, 300m north west of Bolam Lake

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Defended settlement on Slate Hill, 300m north west of Bolam Lake

List entry Number: 1011834

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Northumberland

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Belsay

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 20-May-1963

Date of most recent amendment: 20-Mar-1995

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 25145

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

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.

Although the monument has suffered some internal damage from surface quarrying, the defended settlement on Slate Hill is reasonably well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. The importance of the monument is enhanced by the survival of two contemporary settlements in close proximity to it. Taken together they will contribute to any study of the wider settlement pattern at this time.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a defended settlement of Iron Age date occupying the summit of Slate Hill. The roughly semicircular enclosure measures a maximum of 98m east to west by 62m north to south within four concentric ramparts on the north and west sides. The ramparts are thought to have originally continued around the eastern side but have become disturbed by surface quarrying and only a single rampart is now visible here. The south side of the enclosure is defended naturally by a precipitous slope. The ramparts, constructed of stone and earth, measure between 4m and 6m broad and 1.4m high and are terraced into the sloping hillside. A break in the outer ramparts on the western side of the enclosure is thought to represent the site of an original entrance. The discovery of a quern, an Iron Age implement used for the grinding of corn, is recorded at the settlement but its present location is unknown. The stone wall which crosses the monument from east to west 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Ball, T, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser 10' in Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser 10, (1922), 248-50
Davies, J, Davidson, J, 'Northern Archaeology vol 9 1988-89' in A Survey of Bolam and Shaftoe area, Northumberland, (1990), 57-96
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Hill Forts and Settlements in Northumberland, (1965), 62
Other
NZ 08 SE 13,

National Grid Reference: NZ 07752 82166

Map

Map
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1011834 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 08:30:19.

End of official listing