Yeavering Bell is a shapely hill that sits at the northern extremity of the Cheviot hills. It is famous for the large hillfort that sits on the hill's summit.
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Yeavering Bell Gallery: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
More about Yeavering Bell: Despite Yeavering Bell's rather modest height its position at near the tip of the Cheviot range means that it commands a substantial view north over the lower Tweed valley and beyond. The name apparently means 'Hill of the Goats'. Even forearmed with this knowledge I was still somewhat surprised to encounter on the way out of Old Yeavering what appeared to be some wild goats on the lower slopes of the hill.
If its only merits were a decent view and a chance of seeing wild goats then Yeavering Bell probably wouldn't be very high on anyone's hillwalking agenda in the Cheviots. The main reason for visiting Yeavering Bell is that it is the site of the largest of a number of hillforts that are to be found in the Cheviots.
Archaeologists have estimated that the fort was constructed approximately 2,500 years ago. Within the massive stone ramparts were at least 130 roundhouses which makes it one of the largest Iron Age settlements in northern Britain. Today the only real evidence of the fort that be seen by the untrained eye are the stone ramparts which even in there collapsed state are still impressive. These ramparts can clearly be seen ringing the top of Yeavering Bell from at least as far away as The Cheviot to the south.
Unfortunately we know little of the people who lived on Yeavering Bell or why they chose this spot for their home. The hill does seem to have been site of some significance both before and after the the hillfort was built. According to a Northumberland National Park leaflet a Stone Age monument was aligned to face the hill. Much later in the 7th cent AD a field just north of the hill was chosen as the site of a royal town by the Anglo-Saxon kings of Northumbria - site commemorated by a roadside plaque.
My first, and so far only, visit was a fairly brief affair one evening during a week's stay in Wooler. The weather was fairly dull so I didn't get to experience the views to their full potential. Unfortunately it also started to rain as I arrived on the summit so that discouraged me from too much exploration. Still it was an easy walk and if I am staying in the area again I think it would be the perfect place for a short ramble on a sunny summer's evening.