Crow Hill Iron Age hillfort with associated Iron Age, Roman and Medieval settlements


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Crow Hill Iron Age hillfort with associated Iron Age, Roman and Medieval settlements
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Sep-2019 at 10:41:33.


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

East Northamptonshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 95433 71200, SP 95790 71569

Reasons for Designation

Sites which show evidence of continuous occupation from the Iron Age through to the Early Medieval period are extremely rare. Single examples of each period would normally be considered worthy of preservation. The Crow Hill monument is particularly unusual in having good evidence for all these periods, contained mainly within one enclosure. There are only some 150 univallate hillforts recorded in England. The Crow Hill Iron age hillfort is therefore an important and rare example. It is also significant as the second largest hillfort in the county, making up a cluster with the contemporary Thorpe End enclosure on the eastern side of the River Nene. In all periods external occupation is focussed around the enclosure with distributions falling off away from the centre. The monument has good potential for studying the development of a defended settlement from the Iron age to the Early Medieval period. Although the monument has been ploughed, limited excavation and survey has shown the site to contain high potential for the survival of major archaeological remains below the plough soil.


The monument includes the site of an Iron Age defended enclosure together with the remains of Roman and Medieval settlements. The Iron Age site comprises a large rectangular enclosure or hillfort, measuring some 250 m. by 175 m., defined by a single bank and ditch. The hillfort contains two rectangular enclosures, a number of house gullies and pits and a concentration of Iron Age pottery, which suggest it was densely occupied. Outside the enclosure, to the east and south-west, smaller amounts of pottery and associated cropmarks indicate the presence of contemporary occupation around the hillfort. A smaller enclosure complex, probably contemporary, is located some 350 m. to the south-west. The hillfort probably remained in use or was reused in the Roman period. Roman domestic remains, including pottery scatters, are mainly concentrated within the enclosure, with the remains of a contemporary occupation site located on a small plateau to the east. A lesser scatter of material in the fields around the enclosure is thought to be related to manuring activities. The Early Medieval settlement is also centred on the earlier hillfort but with additional concentrations of material associated with two small enclosures to the west. Crow Hill and its surrounds are thought to be the original settlement of Yrtlingaburg.

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
Parry, S, Archaeological Investigations At Crow Hill Irthlingborough, (1989)
Foard, G, Parry, S, 'Northants Arch (1986-7)' in Crow Hill, Irthlingborough, (1986), 12
Foard, G, Parry, S, 'Northants Arch (1986-7)' in Crow Hill, Irthlingborough, (1986), 13


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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