Yeavering Bell Hillfort
Yeavering Bell Hillfort
Yeavering Bell is the largest Iron Age hill fort in Northumberland, situated atop a high hill on the edge of the Cheviot Hills, within the Northumberland National Park. The 'Bell' is actually the entire hill, at the top of which is an area of about 5.6 hectares surrounded by a stone wall which originally stood to a height of 2.5 metres and is up to 4 metres in width.
Within the enclosed area can be seen the remains of Iron Age roundhouses. At its height, the community on Yeavering bell supported up to 130 houses. Within the enclosure is a smaller area surrounded by a ditch, where the remains of an burial cairn can be found, a sign that the hill was used by inhabitants of the region as far back as Neolithic times. At the foot of Yeavering Bell is Gefrin, the site of a palace used by the the Saxon kings of Northumberland.

Some suggestion has been made that Yeavering Bell was a 'sacred mountain' for the Iron Age inhabitants of the area; a site of religious importance. The site was probably occupied into the Roman period.

Ascending the Bell does require some effort; the path follows a slope which can be steep, though not terribly difficult for anyone of reasonable fitness. Your reward for the effort ascending is a superb view over the surrounding area.