Unenclosed hut circle settlement 1060m north west of Ilderton Moor


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Unenclosed hut circle settlement 1060m north west of Ilderton Moor
© 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 Grid Reference:
NU 00621 21505

Reasons for Designation

Unenclosed hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers. The hut circles take a variety of forms. Some are stone based and are visible as low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area. Others were timber constructions and only the shallow groove in which the timber uprights used in the wall construction stood can now be identified; this may survive as a slight earthwork feature or may be visible on aerial photographs. Some can only be identified by the artificial earthwork platforms created as level stances for the houses. The number of houses in a settlement varies between one and twelve. In areas where they were constructed on hillslopes the platforms on which the houses stood are commonly arrayed in tiers along the contour of the slope. Several settlements have been shown to be associated with organised field plots, the fields being defined by low stony banks or indicated by groups of clearance cairns. Many unenclosed settlements have been shown to date to the Bronze Age but it is also clear that they were still being constructed and used in the Early Iron Age. They provide an important contrast to the various types of enclosed and defended settlements which were also being constructed and used around the same time. Their longevity of use and their relationship with other monument types provides important information on the diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities.

The unenclosed hut circle settlement 1060m north west of Ilderton Moor is well-preserved and will provide evidence of life in the Bronze Age through the preservation of floor levels and domestic rubbish within the hut circles. In addition, evidence of agricultural practices will be preserved within, beneath and between the cairn and hut circles. Evidence relating to the wider Bronze Age environment is also likely to survive in the form of preserved pollen grains. The settlement is one of a group of well-preserved prehistoric sites on Heddon Hill and forms part of a wider archaeological landscape. It will contribute to any study of settlement and land use during this period.


The monument includes the remains of an unenclosed hut circle settlement of Bronze Age date situated on level ground overlooked by Heddon Hill to the south. The settlement comprises two hut circles and three cairns. The hut circles are visible as level circular enclosures: the northernmost hut circle measures 10m in diameter within the foundations of a low stone wall 1.7m wide and 0.2m high; the southernmost hut circle measures 9m across within walls 1.3m wide and 0.1m high. Scattered between the hut circles are three cairns, each oriented east to west, and constructed of stone and earth. The most northerly cairn is oval in shape and measures 5m by 3.5m in diameter and stands to a maximum height of 0.5m. The southernmost cairn is also oval in shape and measures 4m by 3m and stands 0.3m high. The central cairn, which measures 4m by 3.5m overall, is horseshoe-shaped and enclosed on the north, south and west sides by a bank 1.5m wide and 0.3m high. The settlement 200m to the south is the subject of a separate scheduling.

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:


NU 02 SW 42,


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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