Reecastle Crag hillfort


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Allerdale (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
NY 27515 17547

Reasons for Designation

In the northern uplands a number of small hillforts or fortified enclosures of varying shape have been identified. They are located on hilltops or distinctive craggy knolls and generally have an internal area of less than 1ha. They are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more lines of closely set earthworks, usually ditches with or without adjacent banks or ramparts. These entirely surround the interior except on sites located on promontories or rocky knolls, where cliffs may form one or more sides of the monument. The layout of the site is heavily dependent upon the topography of the location. The core area of the site, where the main living accommodation was provided, normally occupies the highest position on the hill or crag. Additional living or working areas are also frequently located between or within the surrounding earthworks and may take the form of rock-cut levelled areas. They are of Iron Age date and are contemporary with other more common hillfort types. Some, however, may have been reused or have been new constructions in post-Roman times. Hillforts of this type are rare, with fewer that 100 identified examples. In view of this rarity and their importance for hillfort studies and the understanding of the nature of social organisation within the Iron Age period, all examples with surviving archaeological potential are considered to be of national importance. Reecastle Crag hillfort is a good example of this class of monument. It survives well, remains unencumbered by modern development, and will retain evidence of the activities undertaken within the site and the defensive methods utilised.


The monument includes Reecastle Crag hillfort. It is located on the summit and northern ridge of Reecastle Crag and overlooks the hanging valley of Watendlath. The ground falls precipitously from the north, north west and north east sides of the monument and steeply elsewhere. The highest point is formed by a large rocky knoll at the southern end of the monument. A drystone wall on the monument's eastern side is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath the wall 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Bailey, J B, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Maryport and the Tenth Iter; With Further Notes on Roman Antiq, , Vol. XXIII, (1923), 145


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

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