NT9229 : Yeavering Bell hill fort

taken 8 years ago, near to Kirknewton, Northumberland, Great Britain

Yeavering Bell hill fort
Yeavering Bell hill fort
This massive ruined wall encircles the twin tops of Yeavering Bell and encloses a huge area in which the large number of roundhouse remains indicate a sizeable prehistoric population. The view is north-west over the village of Kirknewton and the River Glen valley on its dog-leg between Kilham Hill and Housedon Hill
Yeavering Bell
Yeavering Bell is a twin-peaked hill above Glendale in Northumberland. The hill, 361 metres above sea level, is encircled by the wall of a late-prehistoric hillfort, a tribal centre of the Votadini called in Brythonic and Old Welsh Din Gefron, from which the current name stems LinkExternal link
Yeavering Bell is the largest hillfort in the Cheviots, and clearly played a different role to the dozens of smaller forts. Elements of both defence and display have been identified.
Milfield North henge, down below on the Milfield Plain, dating from about 2000BC, appears to be aligned on the Bell and there is a large burial cairn on the eastern and highest peak that is probably of the Bronze Age.
The hillfort ramparts were originally built in the Iron Age of bright pink andesite, quarried from the hill itself, originally up to 2.5 metres in height. They enclose an area of 5.6 hectares, within which are the still visible platforms of about 130 timber-built roundhouses. It was occupied in the Iron Age through into the Romano-British period. The east hill summit is surrounded by a narrow ditch probably representing a later palisaded enclosure.
It is thought that the hillfort was constructed in two phases. In the first phase the fort was longer, with what are now the two exterior enclosures forming the east and west ends. The second phase saw new stretches of wall being constructed on the east and west, which shortened the overall length of the fort and left the original ends as the two exterior crescent shaped banks.
Various breaks in the fort bank have been identified with five of them showing signs of regular use. The main entrance was probably on the south side overlooking land that was cleared and cultivated.
Little is known about when or why the fort was eventually abandoned but it is possible that some of its functions may have been transferred to the early medieval 'Palace’ site of Gefrin, located below the hillfort.
More information can be found on the following sites LinkExternal link LinkExternal link
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NT9229, 38 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Friday, 25 September, 2009   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 26 September, 2009
Category
Hill fort   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 9287 2941 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:33.4994N 2:6.8755W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 9291 2941
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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