Enclosed hilltop settlement on Pig Hill, 600m south west of High Fallowfield


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019919

Date first listed: 24-Apr-1978

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Apr-2001


Ordnance survey map of Enclosed hilltop settlement on Pig Hill, 600m south west of High Fallowfield
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Dec-2018 at 11:32:17.


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

District: County Durham (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Haswell

National Grid Reference: NZ 36946 44462


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

Reasons for Designation

Hilltop enclosures are defined as sub-rectangular or elongated areas of ground, usually between 10ha and 40ha in size, situated on hilltops or plateaux and surrounded by slight univallate earthworks. They date to between the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (eighth-fifth centuries BC) and are usually interpreted as stock enclosures or sites where agricultural produce was stored. Many examples of hilltop enclosures may have developed into more strongly defended sites later in the Iron Age period and are therefore often difficult to recognise in their original form. The earthworks generally consist of a bank separated from an external ditch by a level berm. Access to the interior was generally provided by two or three entrances which consisted of simple gaps in the rampart. Evidence for internal features is largely dependent on excavation, and to date this has included large areas of sparsely scattered features including post and stakeholes, hearths and pits. Rectangular or square buildings are also evident; these are generally defined by between four and six postholes and are thought to have supported raised granaries. Hilltop enclosures are rare, with between 25 and 30 examples recorded nationally. A greater number may exist but these could have been developed into hillforts later in the Iron Age and could only be confirmed by detailed survey or excavation. The majority of known examples are located in two regions, on the chalk downland of Wessex and Sussex and in the Cotswolds. More scattered examples are found in north-east Oxfordshire and north Northamptonshire. This class of monument has not been recorded outside England. In view of the rarity of hilltop enclosures and their importance in understanding the transition between Bronze Age and Iron Age communities, all examples with surviving archaeological remains are believed to be of national importance.

The enclosed hilltop settlement on Pig Hill, 600m south west of High Fallowfield, is a good example of its type which will add greatly to our knowledge of these types of constructions and their intended use. Although there are no apparent remains of the enclosure visible on the ground, the double ditched or palisaded enclosure can be seen on aerial photographs, as well as cropmarks within the enclosure thought to relate to the settlement. The ditched enclosure will preserve important archaeological deposits relating to the construction and use of the monument. The presence of cropmarks within the enclosure would imply the survival of important archaeological deposits relating to the settlement and use of the monument.


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


The monument includes the remains of a polygonal enclosure, occupying part of the southern slope and top of Pig Hill. The monument incorporates the remains of a double ditched or palisaded polygonal enclosure, particularly apparent on its eastern side. Within the enclosure are cropmarks, some of which are thought to represent traces of settlement.

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: 34586

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing