Greaves Ash Camp (Ingram)
The 'oppidum' at Greaves Ash was excavated in 1861 by the Berwick Naturalists' Club. It consists of three detached forts which nevertheless form one assemblage of dwellings and fortifications. The western fort (defended by two stone walls with offset entrances on the east,) contains circular huts and enclosures. Some of the huts were excavated, parts of querns and parts of a glass armlet were found. The adjacent eastern fort with single wall contained similar huts; entrance on the north-east. The upper fort also apparently single-walled with several entrances, similar huts and enclosures. (2)
The glass armlet is dated 2nd - 4th century AD; together with other finds suggesting a 'native in the Roman period' date for the site. (3)
The western fort is as described above, 16 hut circles being identifiable. The eastern fort appears to be an annexe. The upper fort is a complex series of contiguous enclosures and huts. Surveyed 1:2500. (4)
The upper fort is listed as an enclosed stone built settlement, probably Romano-British, and the western fort as an Iron Age multivallate fort with overlying Romano British huts. (5)(6)
As above - well preserved examples of this type of settlement. Surveyed at 1:2500. (7)
Situated on a spur at NY 9653 1636, the main and earliest feature here has been two concentric near circular enclosures (a) about 70m and (b) about 100m diameter between the centres of massive walls formed of parallel rows of boulders with rubble infill 3.5m minimum width now spread to 7m. The central enclosure (a) has contained at least 16 hut circles. The main entrances to the enclosures have been in the south-east approached by a sunken way coming up the hill from that direction.
The north-east extremity of the spur has been utilised by a roughly triangular extension (c) of similar construction though only of one wall which has a much slighter build than the original two enclosures. Inside this is a smaller subcircular enclosure in the west (d) and two well-defined huts (e) at the east end. Outside this triangular enclosure an enclosed settlement (f) containing at least four huts, has been built utilising its north-east wall.
At NT 9675 1655 is a complex of 13 hut-circles (g) all levelled into the slope and surrounded by enclosing walls.
The whole site appears to be an Iron Age defended settlement (but not a fort as it is not in a good defensive position being overlooked by higher ground to the north) with later Romano-British occupation internally, adjacent to the north-east, and externally to the north-east. (See also NT 91 NE 48). Surveyed at 1:10000. (8)
NT 966163. Fragmentary, yet distinctive walled trackways have been recorded near the Romano-British settlements at Greaves Ash. (9)
"Upper Fort" (g) [NT 9616/4] now recorded separately.
This complex defended settlement is situated on an elevated platform on the S slopes of Grieve's Ash at a height of 270m OD. Commanding an extensive panorama from a sheltered position to all but the N, it lies within an extensive prehistoric field system to the E [NT
9616/11-45]. Originally described as a "Celtic town" (2) and a multiple ring fort (10a), the site has been classified by more recent commentators as having a bivallate form with nucleated settlements overlying the defences and extending to the E (5). However, the current survey
suggests that the development of the site was more complex. A small sub-oval enclosure [NT 9616/1H] at NT 9655 1642 appears to have been the initial settlement, with walls no more than 2.5m wide and 0.4m high. An entrance 3.3m wide was located in the E wall and the interior, which was sub-divided, contained two hut circles. That this was the earliest feature on the site is shown by the fact that it is overlain and partly destroyed by the ramparts of the bivallate fort on its S and W sides, and is also disturbed by the small enclosure [NT 9616/1I] (NT 9657 1640) to its S. The small hut circle [NT 9616/1J] (NT 9655 1643) has been built across the N wall of this settlement thus post-dating it, possibly illustrating settlement expansion during the bivallate phase of the site. The following phase consists of the construction of the bivallate
enclosure which incorporates the original settlement [NT 9616/1H] and not only suggests an increase in population but also sees the development of the field system and division of the landscape. The final phase sees the construction of a small sub-oval enclosure [NT 9616/1I] across the line of the E defences of the bivallate fort. The W wall appears to overlie the outer rampart and part of the original enclosure.
Further settlement expansion to the E is less easy to place within the sequence, due to a lack of close relationships, but it appears to be associated with the field system. Settlement NT 9616/2 (NT 9662 1644) is the earlier, with settlement NT 9616/3 (NT 9661 1641) being added to its S wall.
The large space between the ramparts of the bivallate fort was sub-divided by small cross walls which were thought by the excavators (2) to be coeval and appear to be similar to those found at Brough Law (NT91 NE 29) and Ewe Hill (NU 01 NW 27).
Within the bivallate enclosure the excavators recorded the foundations of eighteen hut circles with traces of several others. The hut walls still stand to a height of 0.3-0.9m. Six of these
huts were "cleared" during this excavation campaign [NT 9616/1A-F].
This campaign also included some work in the area of later settlement to the E [at NT 9616/2]. The well recorded by the Berwickshire Naturalists near the SE corner of settlement NT 9616/1 could not be traced by the current survey; it may have been destroyed by the modern forestry plantation. Some further details are contained in the project archive. (10a, 10d)
NT 965 163. Greaves Ash. Listed in gazetteer of British hillforts as a multivallate structure enclosing 0.28ha. (10b)
NT 965 164; NT 966 166. Greaves Ash camp. Scheduled No ND/95. (10c)
FIELD OBSERVATION, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigation 1957; E Geary
FIELD OBSERVATION, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigation 1969; B H Pritchard
FIELD OBSERVATION, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigation 1976; I S Sainsbury
MEASURED SURVEY, RCHME: SE Cheviots Project ; RCHME
FIELD SURVEY, Hill forts and settlements in Northumberland ; G Jobey
HISTORIC AREA ASSESSMENT, Ingram Village Atlas (HISTORIC BERWICK VILLAGE ATLAS) ; The Archaeological Practice Ltd
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