Northumberland National Park
What is it?
The remains of a twin-peaked Iron Age hill fort dating from around 300 BC, though it may be as old as 1,000BC. The Anglo-Saxon kings of Northumbria maintained a grand palace, Ad Gefrin, at the foot of the hill.
Why it is special?
Standing in a dramatic landscape with views across the Cheviot Hills to Scotland, this is the largest Iron Age hill fort in the region.
Northumberland’s hill forts are special because of the sheer number of them within a small area. They are distinctive because archaeological evidence suggests they had timber palisades surrounded by banks and ditches. Some, including Yeavering Bell had walled circuits. So they were not simply defence posts or refuges but dwelling places too.
Yeavering Bell hillfort consists of a tumbled stone rampart, originally up to 2.5m high, which encloses an area of 5.6 hectares. You can still see the platforms of about 130 timber-built roundhouses.
Tell us something we didn’t know
Ad Gefrin, down the hill down from Yeavering Bell, was the site of an Anglo-Saxon royal palace in the kingdom of Northumbria. Here the Christian missionary Paulinus (later St Paulinus, the first Archbishop of York) met King Edwin in 627.
Paulinus is credited with convincing Edwin and his theigns to convert to Christianity.
How to get there
Yeavering Bell is on the south side of the B6351 between Akeld and Kirknewton.
Grid Ref: NT 928 293
Wooler Tourist Information Centre: 01668 282123.