Tyne and Wear HER(16664): Penshaw, Penshaw Hill, suggested hillfort - Details
Penshaw, Penshaw Hill, suggested hillfort
Penshaw Hill is a possible Iron Age multi-vallate hillfort overlooking the River Wear. It appears to comprise of three concentric rings of defence; the best preserved of which area on the south and the south-east of the hill where the drop is steepest. Fragments of the earthworks also re-appear on the north-west side of the monument. The best preserved of the earthworks are those half way down the hill; these comprise of a berm, bank and ditch. The lower defences have been considerably altered by the later trackway. The earthworks enclose a 5 acre area on top of the knoll. No dating evidence for the hillfort exists, the hill was subject to quarrying activity in the nineteenth century (and probably earlier) which may relate to the earthworks. Local tradition says that the hill got these "rings" from the legendary Lambton Worm which coiled around a hill [Worm Hill at Fatfield is another suggestion for the site of the legend].
Archaeo-Environment Ltd, 2010, Historic Environment Survey for National Trust Properties, Tyne and Wear - Penshaw Monument