Iron Age defended settlement in Camp Plantation, 350m north west of North Charlton Mill


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


Ordnance survey map of Iron Age defended settlement in Camp Plantation, 350m north west of North Charlton Mill
© 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.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NU 16228 23173

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 a limited amount of quarrying in the north west corner and tree planting across the site, the Iron Age defended enclosure in Camp Plantation remains largely intact and survives reasonably well. It retains significant archaeological deposits which will contribute to any study of settlement patterns during this period.


This monument includes the remains of a defended settlement of Iron Age date situated on a slight natural rise above the Charlton Burn with extensive views to the south east. It comprises a roughly triangular-shaped enclosure and measures a maximum 125m by 113m. There are natural defences on the south west side, which drops sharply to the Charlton Burn, and on the north side. Artificial defences, in the form of a bank, have been constructed on the north side, enhancing the natural slope, and the south east side; there is also a very faint trace of a bank along part of the south west side. The enclosure bank has an average width of 12m and stands up to 4m high on the north and between 1.5m and 3m high on the south east side, where there are traces of an external ditch visible as a slight ground swell. The north west corner of the enclosure has been removed by later quarrying. There are two entrances believed to be original; one lies at the southern corner and measures 6m wide, the second lies in the north side and measures 7m wide. A further break, in the south east side, is believed to be modern. Internally, there is a linear bank of earth and stones, 3m wide by 0.4m high, which runs into the centre of the enclosure. The post and wire fence on top of the enclosure bank along the south east side, the gate posts of the modern entrance in the south east side and the dry stone wall along the top of the enclosure bank at the north east side are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


NU 12 SE 5,


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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