Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Yeavering Bell - Hill top Fortress

Yeavering is situated at the western end of the Glendale valley, where the Cheviots gives way to the fertile plains of the Tweed valley.  The most prominent feature is the twin peaked hill of Yeavering Bell (361m) where a hill fort and stronghold was built during the time of the Iron Age. The fort was the largest of its kind in Northumberland and had dry stone walls around both peaks.  On the hill there were numerous Iron Age round houses supporting a large population, later identified as the Votadini. 

In the early mediaeval period, Yeavering was located within the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Bernicia. 

There are two routes to the top of Yeavering Bell, a more gentile climb which approaches the fort from the south or the more arduous north face.  It does not really matter which route you take because the end result is spectacular views across the valleys, hills and Tors for as far as the eye can see.  There are two peaks within the outline of the fort and standing on either gives you a sense of the history both peaceful and bloodied, from early settlers, Roman and Anglo-Saxon cultures to the roamings of the notorious Border Reviers.  The area is wild, harsh, moody and dramatic.  Sitting on the summit looking over the kingdom of Northumbria gives you a well deserved sense of peace far from the madding crowd.

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