Carrock Fell Hillfort

Iron Age Hillfort

The Carrock Fell site features well-preserved earthwork remains of a univallate, stone-built enclosure covering 1.94 hectares. Its kidney-shaped plan encompasses two adjoining summits. While often considered an unfinished or slighted Iron Age hillfort due to irregular gaps in the rampart, there’s no conclusive dating evidence. A narrow, discontinuous trench along the enclosure’s southern interior might indicate an earlier palisaded enclosure. Within the enclosure are two cairns, likely from the Bronze Age, and the southeastern side is overlaid by a medieval shieling in ruin.

The fort, oval in shape and stone-walled, spans roughly 300m by 100m. Its enclosing wall has mostly collapsed, represented by a rubble spread, but in the southwest corner, it still stands at 1.7m high. Only one gap in the wall is a confirmed entrance, located at the west end. The interior, mostly outcropping rock, has no certain hut sites but features a large, centrally mutilated cairn.

The hillfort’s shape suggests possible two-phase construction: an initial western enclosure and an eastern expansion, perhaps for livestock. Collingwood proposed it as a Brigantian capital built before the Roman invasion of Cumberland, with gaps in the wall due to Roman slighting. However, Higham argues that its lack of internal features and remote location suggest it was never permanently occupied.

Sites near Carrock Fell Hillfort