Iron Age multivallate hillfort and prehistoric trackway at Monday Cleugh


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


Ordnance survey map of Iron Age multivallate hillfort and prehistoric trackway at Monday Cleugh
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
NT 95522 28531

Reasons for Designation

In the northern uplands a number of small hillforts or fortified enclosures of varying shape have been identified. They are all located on hilltops or distinctive craggy knolls, generally have an internal area of less than 1ha, and are defined by boundaries consisting of two or more closely set earthworks, usually ditches with or without adjacent banks or ramparts. Ditches are often rock-cut and the associated ramparts, where they exist, are usually largely of stone construction. These defences 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 which enhance lower natural terraces on the hill. They are mostly 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 than 100 identified examples in England. In view of this rarity, their importance for hillfort studies, and for understanding the nature of social organisation within the Iron Age period, all examples with surviving archaeological potential are considered to be of national importance.

The Iron Age multivallate hillfort and prehistoric trackway are well preserved and will retain significant archaeological deposits. The monument is situated within an area of clustered archaeological sites of high quality and forms part of a wider archaeological landscape. As such it will make a significant contribution to the study of the wider settlement pattern at this time.


The monument includes an Iron Age hillfort and prehistoric trackway located on the south west and west slopes of Harehope Hill. The hillfort is situated on level ground at the head of a deep crag sided hollow called Monday Cleugh which forms part of its defences on the east side. Although the site is overlooked by Harehope Hill to the north east and Gains Law to the south it commands extensive views to the east, north and west. The enclosure is roughly semicircular in shape and measures 138m north-south by 101m east-west. It is surrounded by three earth and stone banks on the north and west, two scarped banks on the south and one on the east where the crags provide natural defences. The outer and middle ramparts stand 1m and 1.2m high and measure 3m and 5m wide respectively; both have kerb stones visible along their outer edges. The inner rampart stands up to 1.5m high and measures 5m wide. The ramparts stand between 4m and 5m apart; all have become spread in places but the middle and inner ramparts retain sharp profiles especially on the north side of the enclosure. There are two main entrances into the enclosure. First, in the south east corner is an opening 3m wide protected by the outer rampart which overlaps it. Second, in the west side is an entrance 3m wide now overlain by a modern sheepfold. A possible third entrance lies in the north east corner where there is a gap in the inner rampart. Visible within the hillfort are the turf covered remains of three hut circles between 7m and 8m in diameter internally with walls standing up to 0.2m high; two have entrances c.2m wide in the north and north east sides. Near the west entrance, against the inner rampart, are the low foundations of a rectangular building 6m by 19m and up to 0.1m high. Two sub-rectangular foundations, 3m by 6m, are attached to the outer rampart on the north side of the enclosure. Overlying the ramparts on the west side of the hillfort is a later enclosure of rough stone walling associated with rectangular structures situated within the ramparts and the hillfort; this is thought to be an old sheepfold. The hillfort is approached from the west via a 138m long trackway, 9m to 11m wide, bound each side by an earth and stone bank 3m wide and 0.75m high. The southern bank runs to the west entrance and the northern bank runs around the northern side of the hillfort to the crag edge where it lies 24m from the outer rampart. The trackway is an offshoot of another track, 420m long, which runs around the north west of Harehope Hill. For most of its length this is deeply cut into the hillslope with a bank 3m wide on the downslope side; the bank has a near vertical internal face with traces of stone lining. The track has a U-shaped profile and measures a maximum 10m wide by 1.5m deep. In places where the track is very shallow there are traces of a slight upcast bank on the upslope side. Towards the top of the hill the track splits in two and funnels out to a natural hollow c.25m wide; only the track leading to the hillfort is included in the monument which is marked by a bank 3m wide by 0.75m high on the east side and joins the offshoot trackway. Beyond this junction the track appears to continue in the natural hollow towards Monday Cleugh with traces of a shallow bank on its northern edge, a sample length of 10m is included in the monument. The stone field wall, which crosses the monument is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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:


NT 92 NE 39,


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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