Rock art in Northumberland

Iron Age Sites in Northumberland

The Iron Age
Mysterious rock marks and a concentration of hillforts are what make Northumberland a prehistoric stronghold, where you can feel close to the county’s history and heritage, and imagine what it was like in the Iron Age.

Ancient Northumberland

There is evidence of a civilisation here in Northumberland from ages before the Romans set foot in our county over 2,000 years ago. This evidence can be seen in the ancient hill forts that are still standing today.

Mysterious rock marks coupled with the greatest concentration of hillforts in Britain have led to Northumberland carving out a name for itself as a prehistoric stronghold and where ancient life feels close.

The largest of these hillforts is Yeavering Bell in the heart of the Cheviot Hills, a story and site celebrated and highlighted by the experience at Ad Gefrin museum. This protected hillfort monument has attracted people for millennia. From Stone Age people who lined up a sacred monument to face the hillside here 4,000 years ago, to the Iron Age dwellers who constructed a 130 roundhouse-fort, built within its massive stone rampart 2,000 years later.

Lace up your hiking boots and head out to see Northumberland’s amazing rock art. Described as one of Britain’s national treasures, Northumberland’s fascinating gallery of rock art is as inspiring as it is mysterious. Carved into rocky outcrops and boulders are curious markings which vary from simple, circular hollows known as 'cups' to more complex intertwining patterns with cups, rings, and intertwining grooves. Often found in eye-popping elevated destinations, the carvings were made by Neolithic and Early Bronze Age people between 3500 and 6000 years ago and are regarded as some of Northumberland’s most prized hidden gems.

Discover more about the county’s history by visiting our wide range of historic attractions, including museums, battlefields, stately homes, castles and historic sites, including world famous Hadrian’s Wall, beloved home of the Trevelyan family, Wallington Hall cared for by the National Trust, starring film location Alnwick Castle and the iconic Lindisfarne Priory.

Mountain biking in purple heather
Family walk in Northumberland
Couple enjoying a boat trip
Hadrian's Wall
Surf Northumberland
Outdoor adventures in Northumberland

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