An Architecture of Hillforts in Northumberland
Hillforts have been well documented by historians and archaeologists over many years but they have
not roused the same interest from Architects and little is written about their architecture.
As ancient English constructions they survive as examples of how early man modified his
environment, man-made places in need of further investigation and discussions, to open
up new lines of inquiry about how and why early man defined places in the landscape and if they can
rightfully be called architecture.
It is fortunate that connected trench enclosures and stone enclosures in Northumberland are
extraordinarily well preserved, providing rare opportunities for explorations in a variety of situations.
The study focuses on trench enclosures because landscape and the inspiration it provides is more
clearly explained where the ground is most serially moulded. Comparisons are drawn with stone
enclosures to illustrate how properties of different landscapes impact on formations over different
periods of time.
From a practising Architect with a speciality in relationships between rural settlements and landscape
the study draws on first hand design experience and understanding of settlement and landscape
linkages to examine cause and effect, what stimulated and drove the concept of connected trench
enclosures, and theorises how creative processes unfolded into finished hillfort forms.