400BC Hillfort Begun at
Hunsbury Hill in Northampton
In the Iron Age people often lived in well-protected hillforts. There is evidence of settlement at several places in Northamptonshire. Borough Hill in Daventry and Hunsbury Hill are perhaps the best examples.

Around 400 BC there is evidence of a defensive settlement at Hunsbury Hill. The site was occupied for the next 400 years. The remains of the settlement can still be seen over 2000 years later in the aerial photograph.

The ditches are now hidden by trees and the site is surrounded by modern housing. Excavations in 1952 and 1988 revealed more information. The defensive earthwork includes an inner rampart and ditch, with traces of a second rampart and encloses an area of approximately 160 acres. There are many finds, making this one of the most important sources of Iron Age material in the Midlands.

The photographs show what archaeologists have discovered on sites across the county. The skeleton is an elderly woman found at Great Houghton, Northampton. She was buried face down in a pit with a neck-ring (torc) made of lead and tin. The Iron Age pot was found in a ditch at Newton Bromswold. The white cube in the photo gives an idea of size of the pot. The pot was made by hand and fired in a bonfire.

You can still see the remains of the hillfort today. Why not visit the site? Discover more - why not visit Northampton Museum?


Iron Age

The period in prehistory when people start to use iron tools and weapons. In Britain, the Iron Age lasted from c.700 BC to 43 AD.


An embankment built round a space for defensive purposes.


Someone who makes discoveries about the past by excavating and examining material evidence.