Keys to the Past

Castle Hill Camp (Alnham)

This impressive Iron Age hillfort sits on a hill overlooking the village of Alnham. It is circular and is surrounded by a series of large earth banks. Where the hillside is steepest there are two ramparts, but where the slope is gentler, there are three. It is possible that these defences were not all built at the same time. Those to the south-east are much larger and may have been built at a later date. The main entrance to the site is through a gap in the defences to the east. Another gap forms an entrance to the outer enclosure only. It is possible that in times of trouble cattle or other animals may have been kept in this outer area. A gap to the east also allows access to the outer enclosure area only. Inside the camp the remains of at least five houses can be seen. The space inside the fort is divided into two parts by an earth bank. There is evidence that some of the houses may be a later development. They may have been built at the same time as a number of smaller rectangular enclosures were attached to the outside of the hillfort. Hillforts were important settlements in the Iron Age. They may have acted as central places where the people who lived in the smaller settlements in the area could meet for important ceremonies, to exchange goods or to seek protection. This is a Scheduled Monument protected by law.

Reference number:N1338
Historical period: Roman (43 to 410)
Iron Age (800BC to 43AD)
Legal status:Scheduled Ancient Monument
Event(s):FIELD OBSERVATION, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigation 1957; D A Davies
FIELD OBSERVATION, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigation 1969; B H Pritchard
FIELD OBSERVATION, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigation 1976; S Ainsworth
FIELD SURVEY, Recording Erosion Damage at Alnham, Castle Hills and Middleton Dene Hillforts, Northumberland 2005; The Archaeological Practice Ltd
FIELD SURVEY, Hill forts and settlements in Northumberland ; G Jobey

See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Alnham

Disclaimer -

Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.