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Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castle of the Cout of Kielder; Cowt of Kielder; Raven's Hill; Rauen's Hill; Ryan's Hill

In the civil parish of Kielder.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.
Medieval County of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY63339416
Latitude 55.24056° Longitude -2.57778°

Kilder has been described as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


Raven's Hill. This site is rather the Settlement of a tribe than a camp, and lies about 1/2 mile north of Kielder Castle, between two rivers.
Towards the east point a small rill runs south-easterly dividing the enclosure. On the sides of this rill are three nearly-parallel enclosures varying from 10-15 feet in width, and about 120 yards long.
The turf banks are very much worn, and are of ancient appearance.
At the lower, and south-eastern part of these small enclosures, a double rampart has run towards the south-west; and at about 90 yards distance a rampart branches off for about 45 yards, and which, returning to the north-east, encloses a quadrangular space of about 75 yards by 55 - well sheltered by a stoney bank, " and perhaps a slight excavation within, so as to leave reason to conclude that this particular part has been occupied and fortified as a camp. The outline, however, has been much destroyed by quarrying for stone. The double rampart, or terrace, as the space between might be called, for it never was a ditch, extends to the westward about 200 yds, and about 50 yards above the middle of it another terrace begins, and runs westward nearly horizontally for about 110 yards, having enclosures both above and below it.
These enclosures continue about 90 yards further to the west, and join to the Drove Road (running at the foot of the encampment) where there has been an entrance with a small guard-house".
About 100 yards west of this 'guard-house' on the Drove Road, rising ground is reached, and on the summit of this are the remains of enclosures similar to those already described. About 200 yards still further west, along the Drove Road, and on more rising ground, are again simillar triangular space for a dwelling or guard-house, and running towards a rivulet 80 yards below and to the south. "It is probable that all these enclosures were connected by a fence along the Drove Road; and also on a rising ground above the cottages are traces of similar enclosures from which it may be concluded, that these several fences served at once to enclose the dry ground and the most defensible position.
The enclosures extend as far beyond the camp towards the east as towards the west, each being about 260 yards, preserving, on a considerable declivity, a nearly horizontal position the western part being the larger of the two.
On the rampart of the camp some iron slag was found, and the interior of the enclosures bears marks of the plough"
Tradition tends to make this site the castle of "Cout of Keilder" - a 14th border chieftain. (MacLauchlan 1867)
Type C and of Md or doubtful date. (Dodds 1940)
(Area NY 632 943 geographical co-ords) Ravenshill Single-banked irregular earthwork (Listed under native sites) (Hogg 1947)
The site falls in dense afforestation and could not be Located. Deep furrow ploughing may possibly have destroyed the work. Nothing visible on available APs (RAF 1946) (F1 BHP 28-AUG-70). (PastScape)

Slag has been found in several rectangular enclosures just north of Kielder Castle. Archaeologists think the enclosures were created between 1066 and 1543, during the medieval period. A local tradition says that they are all that remains of the castle of the 'Cout of Kielder', a 14th century border chieftain. Although Old Kielder now lies inside the Kielder Forest, the earthworks there have not been destroyed by tree planting. (Keys to the Past)

King writes nothing known of castle site called 'Kilder' mentioned by Harvey but it seems likely Harvey was working from MacLauchlan in this case.
Maclauchlan also includes a sketch plan with a latitude and longitude so the location of his 'camp' is certain although nothing is marked at this location on modern or old OS maps. The 1st edn OS six-inch map was surveyed in 1862, well before the area was planted with trees, and shows nothing suggesting MacLauchlan's earthworks were too slight to be noticed (the 2edn surveyed after Maclauchlan had written also shows nothing).
It seems MacLauchlan saw some fairly extensive earthworks which he felt were of a 'settlement type' and which included a slightly more defined enclosure in which some slag was found. Gatehouse wonders if this was actually a small DMV with a manor house. Some of the double embankments might be holloways and others might be hedge or field wall lines. While the manor house may well have housed the 'Cout of Kielder' there is nothing to suggest it was of stone or had anything but domestic defences.
Kielder Castle is a, grade 2 listed, castellated house of 1775 built as a hunting lodge for the Duke of Northumberland on a virgin site.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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