Castle Crag Hillfort (Mardale)
Period: Iron Age Date: Unknown
Location: Haweswater

The monument is Castle Crag slight univallate hillfort. It is located on the top of Castle Crag, a projection of rock extending north-east from Birks Crag. The ground falls precipitously from the north-west, north-east and south-east sides of the crag. The hillfort includes an oval-shaped internal enclosure measuring approximately 46m by 22m that is protected on its south-west side by a rampart of stones up to 2m wide and 1m high.

The precipitous slopes on the other sides preclude the need for ramparts there. There is an entrance at the south-west corner of the enclosure leading up a narrow ledge of rock. Within the enclosure are three artificially levelled areas - two circular areas measuring c.3m diameter, and an irregularly-shaped area measuring a maximum of 6.5m by 4.6m. Outside the stone rampart is a rock-cut ditch 4m wide and up to 3m deep and beyond this a second rock-cut ditch 10m wide and 2-3m deep. Between the ditches a rocky knoll has been used as an outer enclosure and contains further artificially levelled areas.

Towards the south-eastern end of the outer enclosure is a cutting in the rock forming an entrance 2.5m wide. Outside the outer ditch is a rectangular artificially levelled area measuring c.19m by 15m which enhances a terrace in the adjacent hillside. Limited archaeological excavation during the early 1920's located a parapet rampart on the north side of the internal enclosure constructed of tightly laid flat stones. Clay floors and charcoal were also found within this main enclosure. Circular pits were found within the outer enclosure located to the south-west. A drystone wall and old fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.
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