Keys to the Past

Humbleton Hill Iron Age Hillfort (Akeld)

Ramparts of Humbleton Hill hillfort.
Photo by Harry Rowland.
Ramparts of Humbleton Hill hillfort. Photo by Harry Rowland.

This important hillfort dominates the surrounding area. It is on a strongly defended position on the crest of Humbleton Hill. It is surrounded by a series of defences. The outer wall is well preserved, and 2m thick with a rubble infilling. This is probably the earliest element of the site, and may be as early as Neolithic in date, though there is no hard evidence for this. The inner enclosure is a stoutly built stone rampart, originally nearly 4m thick. The north and north-west sides of the hill-fort are protected by only this inner enclosure, though at this point the natural slopes and stone outcrops added to the defence. In between the two ramparts are eight circular house platforms, whilst within the inner rampart are twenty examples, between 4m and 8m in diameter. However, it is not certain whether these are contemporary with the fortifications, or predate them. The site appears to have been re-used in the medieval period (AD 1066 to 1540), when shielings and sheep shelters were built against the edge of the ramparts. This is a Scheduled Monument protected by law.

Reference number:N1544
Historical period: Medieval (1066 to 1540)
Later Prehistoric (4000BC to 43AD)
Iron Age (800BC to 43AD)
Legal status:Scheduled Ancient Monument
Event(s):MEASURED SURVEY, Humbleton Hill 1997; RCHME
FIELD SURVEY, Archaeological recording at Humbleton Hill Hillfort, Wooler 2000; NORTHERN ARCHAEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATES
FIELD SURVEY, Humbleton Hill Camp rampart repairs 2004; NORTHUMBERLAND NATIONAL PARK
FIELD SURVEY, Hill forts and settlements in Northumberland ; G Jobey

See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Akeld

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.