Defended settlement, 800m SSE of South Charlton Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014074

Date first listed: 28-Nov-1932

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Mar-1996


Ordnance survey map of Defended settlement, 800m SSE of South Charlton Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Eglingham

National Grid Reference: NU 16708 19087


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.

Despite some damage from surface quarrying, the settlement 800M SSE of South Charlton Farm is well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a group of similar Iron Age settlements in the area and will contribute to any study of the wider settlement pattern at this time.


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 southern slopes below the summit of Buck Law. The enclosure, roughly circular in shape, measures 67m in diameter within double ramparts of earth and stone separated by a ditch. The slight inner rampart stands to a maximum height of 0.5m and where best preserved is on average 4m wide. The outer rampart is stronger and where best preserved is 1.5m high. The ditch which separates the two ramparts is on average 8m wide and 1.7m deep. There are opposing entrances through the defences in the centre of the east and west sides and these display evidence of having been inturned to afford greater defence. Within the enclosure, which has been partly disturbed for quarrying, there are traces of internal divisions formed by low fragmentary banks 0.3m high.

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: 25185

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
MacLaughlan, H, Additional Notes on Roman Roads in Northumberland, (1867), 15
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Hill Forts and Settlements in Northumberland, (1965), 64
NU 11 NE 10,

End of official listing