Defended settlement, 400m north west of Rough Castles


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014065

Date first listed: 19-Jan-1967

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Apr-1996


Ordnance survey map of Defended settlement, 400m north west of Rough Castles
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Edlingham

National Grid Reference: NU 08801 07697


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.

The defended settlement near Rough Castles is well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is an uncommon example of a possible unfinished settlement and will add greatly to our knowledge and understanding of Iron Age settlement and society.


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


The monument includes a defended settlement of Iron Age date situated on the northern slopes of a hill. The enclosure, irregular in shape, measures a maximum of 68m east to west by 54m north to south within a rampart of stone and earth clearly defined on the western half of the enclosure where it is on average 5m wide and stands to a height of over 2m. Around the eastern half of the enclosure this rampart is visible as a low scarp 0.4m high. Surrounding the rampart on the western half, there is a substantial ditch 7m wide and up to 1m deep below the rampart. Outside the ditch there is a second bank on average 3m wide and 0.5m high above the external ground level. The ditch and the outer rampart are not visible around the eastern half of the enclosure and it is considered that on this side the outer defences were not completed. There is an entrance into the enclosure at its southern end where a length of hollow way 9m wide leads down the hill into the enclosure for a distance of 16m beyond the line of the ditch. The later earth bank which crosses the north side of the monument is included in the scheduling as its removal may damage important archaeological features.

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: 25197

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
MacLaughlan, H, Memoir to Survey of Eastern Branch of the Watling Street, (1864), 18
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Hill Forts and Settlements in Northumberland, (1965), 64
NU 00 NE 09,

End of official listing