Enclosed hilltop settlement on Pig Hill, 600m south west of High Fallowfield
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 25-May-2019 at 06:41:41.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- County Durham (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- NZ 36946 44462
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
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.
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
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:
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