Wether Hill


Situated in the Breamish Valley in Northumberland, and has panoramic views across Northumberland to the Cheviot, Simonside Hills and the North Sea. Best known for its Iron Age hill fort, the site was in fact used through-out prehistory from the Mesolithic period right through to the Iron Age.


During the Neolithic a pit was dug on the hillside, and a person was buried accompanied by two Beakers. One of the Beakers survived only as small sherds, but these suggest that the beaker was profusely decorated with comb decoration in a triangular pattern. The other Beaker survived to a greater degree, and could be reconstructed.


This Beaker has been described as ‘rusticated; it is not quite as finely made as some beakers, with a thick, heavy fabric. The decoration is also not as complex as one some Beakers; the vessel is simply decorated with fingernail impression. Nonetheless, whilst the pot is not perhaps as elaborate as other Beakers, it is still well made.


Beaker from Wether Hill, Northumberland


The person buried with this pot must have been an important person in their community, as they were buried with two Beakers rather than one, which is far more common. The grave is also likely to have been marked in some way, as it was reopened several hundred years later in the Bronze Age, when another person was buried in the grave with three Food Vessels.


Frodsham, P. 2004. “Archaeology in Northumberland National Park” Council for British Archaeology.


The Wether Hill Beaker is on display at the Ingram Valley Visitor’s Centre.