Yeavering - Hut Circles

The 1998 survey identified 125 hut sites within the hillfort. Where these were constructed on the slope of the hill their sites appear as a scoop or scarp made by digging into the hill and using the spoil to complete a level platform. The crescent shapes of the upslope sites of the huts can still be seen today though the downslope platforms are not as visible. When built on more level ground evidence for the huts appears as what is known as a ring-groove.

A ring-groove shows where the outer timber wall of the hut was dug into the ground. Today these appear as shallow depressions or, more often, a circle of slightly darker vegetation. The huts range from 4m in diameter to almost 9m and are more common on the southern side of the hill. It is possible that some huts have left no trace, especially those built on level ground, and so have not been counted. The more prominent features appear as blue dots on the diagram below (which was created for the original version of this website back in 1998).

The Eastern Enclosure

Around the eastern summit of the hill can be seen a roughly circular feature. You can easily spot a narrow ditch with a diameter of around 50m here. In places the ditch is almost 1m wide and has a slight bank on the outer edge. Elsewhere the ditch is less prominent though you can follow it as a darker line in the heather. There appears to be an entrance on the eastern side of the enclosure. What this feature represents remains a mystery.

It was once thought that the ditch represents the foundation trench of a wooden, or palisade, structure which pre-dated the hillfort. However the ditch cuts through more than one hut platform and so must be a later feature. The size of the ditch is a problem too. It is much larger than would be required for a palisade enclosure. In 1862 George Tait investigated the hillfort and noted that, in places, the ditch was five feet deep. There is only one hut platform inside the ditch.