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The Iron Age hillfort usually called Ring Chesters is well preserved as an earthwork. There has been no recorded excavation, but traces of possible trenches have been identified; field surveys have been carried out by MacLauchlan and the Ordnace Survey (both 1860), Jobey (c1965) and English Heritage (2001). The earliest identifiable phase of the hillfort, of uncertain date, is represented by a low, curving scarp that underlies the stone built central circuit. The next phase is a bivallate fort, oval in plan, formed by two concentric earthen banks reveted by large stones, enclosing an area of 0.41ha, with entrances on the south-east and north-west, the former with a pronounced offset between the terminals. Later, the near-circular stone-built inner circuit was added, eccentrically to the earlier circuits so that it partially overlay the line of the inner of the two earthen banks, which was then graded away to form a single steep scarp. The stone-built rampart itself would probably have been a broad wall circa 2m in height; quarrying outside the hillfort may be linked with its construction. The internal area was 0.19ha and there was an entrance on the north-west. In the Romano-British period, elements of all three circuits were remodelled. A series of breaches in the ramparts, one of which has been wrongly identified as an original entrance, are probably of this date. There are two phases of occupation: the earlier phase, presumably contemporary with either the bivallate fort or its stone-built successor, is represented by one or perhaps two large circular 'ring-groove' houses. The later phase is represented by some seven smaller circular stone-founded ring-banks. These are associated with yards and other subdivisions of the interior and are almost certainly of Romano-British date. The hillfort is probably associated with the extensive tracts of cultivation terraces on the west, north and east of the hill (NT 82 NE 115), but the relationship is difficult to prove.

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