Hillfort on Woodhouse Hill 500m west of Mickledale.


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


Ordnance survey map of Hillfort on Woodhouse Hill 500m west of Mickledale.
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1013297 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 22-Jul-2019 at 21:18:06.


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

Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 51059 75726

Reasons for Designation

Slight univallate hillforts are defined as enclosures of various shapes, generally between 1ha and 10ha in size, situated on or close to hilltops and defined by a single line of earthworks, the scale of which is relatively small. They date to between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth - fifth centuries BC), the majority being used for 150 to 200 years prior to their abandonment or reconstruction. Slight univallate hillforts have generally been interpreted as stock enclosures, redistribution centres, places of refuge and permanent settlements. The earthworks generally include a rampart, narrow level berm, external ditch and counterscarp bank, while access to the interior is usually provided by two entrances comprising either simple gaps in the earthwork or an inturned rampart. Postholes revealed by excavation indicate the occasional presence of portal gateways while more elaborate features like overlapping ramparts and outworks are limited to only a few examples. Internal features included timber or stone round houses; large storage pits and hearths; scattered postholes, stakeholes and gullies; and square or rectangular buildings supported by four to six posts, often represented by postholes, and interpreted as raised granaries. Slight univallate hillforts are rare with around 150 examples recorded nationally. Although on a national scale the number is low, in Devon they comprise one of the major classes of hillfort. In other areas where the distribution is relatively dense, for example, Wessex, Sussex, the Cotswolds and the Chilterns, hillforts belonging to a number of different classes occur within the same region. Examples are also recorded in eastern England, the Welsh Marches, central and southern England. In view of the rarity of slight univallate hillforts and their importance in understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all examples which survive comparatively well and have potential for the recovery of further archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

The hillfort on Woodhouse Hill is one of a group of small hillforts in Cheshire. The site survives well in spite of a heavy overburden of woodland and bracken and significant erosion by footpaths and bridleways. The interior of this fort will retain much information about the nature of settlement and the domestic and agricultural economy of the area during the time of its construction and occupation.


The monument includes a hillfort roughly rhomboid in shape on the crest of the sandstone ridge at Woodhouse Hill. The fort is univallate (one rampart) and is one of a number of hillforts on the sandstone outcrop which bisects the county from the Mersey estuary to the Welsh border near Wrexham. The defences on the south and west sides take advantage of the natural scarp overlooking the coastal plain. There are traces of a bank to reinforce the natural defence consisting of a slight scarp continuing the recurve of the northern rampart and slightly set back from the cliff edge on the west side. The rampart on the north and east sides is well defined and stands 0.5m to 2m high but is frequently interrupted by gaps. There is no trace of an external ditch. Excavation in 1949 showed that the bank had originally stood 3m high and 4m wide at the base, revetted on each side with dry stone walling. On the north west side a slight inturning of the sides of a gap in that corner may be the original entrance. The area of the interior of the fort is 1.52ha in extent.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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
Forde Johnston, J, 'Trans Lancs and Ches Arch Soc' in Woodhouse Hillfort, , Vol. 72, (1962), 17-19
Cheshire SMR, (1994)


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].