Foxes Knoll

Has been described as a Rejected Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameFoxes Knoll
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishIlderton

An Iron Age defended settlement situated on the summit of a prominent hill called Foxes Knoll. The settlement commands a strong position at the east end of the hill with extensive views to the north and east. On the south west side of the settlement, running down the slope of Foxes Knoll and up the side of a neighbouring hill, is a field bank. The Iron Age settlement is formed by a single rampart of earth and stone following the contour of the hill and defines an irregularly shaped enclosure which is afforded good natural defence on the northern and easern sides. The enclosure, with an annexe on the west side, measures 103 metres west-south-west to east-north-east by 51 metres north to south. The rampart measures a maximum 3 metres wide and stands up to 0.5 metres high except where it is enhanced by the natural hillslope, and stands between 1 metre and 2 metres high with stone facing. There is an inturned entrance in the northern side. The interior of the settlement is dived into two areas by a bank and a raised platform 0.3 metres high. The eastern side contains a sub-circular platform 8 metres in diameter, a scooped area 9 metres in diameter enclosed by a slight blank and a possible hut circle within the rampart. The western side is a sub-rectangular enclosure with an internal dividing bank and a slightly scooped yard. Further to the west, an annexe occupies the remaining area of the hill defined by a bank 0.3 metres high. The internal divisions of the settlement have been interpreted in the past as evidence of later, Romano-British occupation. From the south side of the settlement a field bank, believed to be associated with the settlement, runs down the hillside in a south westerly direction and diagonally up the opposite hillside. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Jackson writes this Iron Age Hill fort has been identified as possible motte and bailey but it can be clearly rejected as such.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNU004230
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  • Jackson, M.J.,1992, Castles of Northumbria (Carlisle) p. 140
  • Dodds, Madeleine Hope (ed), 1935, Northumberland County History (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Vol. 14 p. 43, 64
  • MacLauchlan, H., 1867, Notes not included in the memoirs already published on Roman roads in Northumberland (London) p. 43 and note online copy


  • Jobey, G., 1965, 'Hill Forts and Settlements in Northumberland' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser4) Vol. 43 p. 63