Iron Age Cemetery, Early Medieval Enclosure and Medieval Farmstead with a Long Boundary, Middle Hurth Edge
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County Council (Unitary)
Durham County Council
Forest and Frith
SJ868868 (386814, 530700)
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Site of a slight long mound of presumed Neolithic date at Middle Hurst. The mound is circa 55 metres long and 8 metres wide, surviving to a height of about 0.50 metres. The eastern half of the mound is overlain by a circular enclosure circa 15 metres in (internal) diameter, with slight traces of a ditch visible on its southern side. Excavations were undertaken in 1978. The spine of the mound was marked by an irregular double row of flat slabs of stone. Numerous flints were recovered from this area, the assemblage mainly comprising small waste flakes, but worked items and a possible perforated macehead were also present. The enclosure bank varied considerably in its make-up. On the south side, it comprised material derived from the ditch and was surmounted by limestone slabs. On the northern side, one section revealed a double row of kerbstones, while on the western side were 3 large limestone slabs leaning against the side of the bank. It was suggested by the excavators that these might originally have stood on top of the bank. A feature described as a "slighted cairn" was found within the enclosure, towards its eastern side. Excavation revealed dark soil, fragments of calcined bones and a small quantity of charcoal. Several flints and a whetstone were also found within the enclosure. Note that the excavators appear to have viewed the enclosure as being placed at the end of the mound, whereas Ordnance Survey field investigation showed clearly that the enclosure overlies the mound.
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