Akeld : Bronze Age (2000 BC – 700 BC)
The hollow recorded by the SMR at NT 941284 may be the remains of a Bronze Age burial cairn badly damaged by robbing. A distinctive type of pottery vessel of the Later Neolithic and Bronze Age known as a beaker was discovered during excavations for the railway cutting near Akeld station in 1885 (NT 958299). Although the precise provenance of the find is unknown, beakers are most often associated with burials, possibly of high-status individuals (Higham 1986, 111).
Several unenclosed settlements believed to be of Bronze Age date are known from within Akeld Township. The cropmark known from aerial photographs at Newton Tors East (NT 924275), and the hut circles associated with a field system at West Swint Law (NT 936283) may be settlements of this type, though there is little information recorded about either of these sites.
A further settlement is known 120m northeast of Gleadscleugh (NT 950290), where a group of five stone built huts are situated within the remains of a field system. Though all of these settlements are attributed to the Bronze Age, none have been excavated, so no absolute dating exists to confirm this. Settlements of this kind are fairly common in the Cheviots throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages, and were traditionally distinguished on the basis of type, particularly the presence or absence of an enclosure. However, recent studies have shown the picture to be rather more complex than this; enclosures themselves may have had little chronological significance (Welfare 2002, 72).
As most of the difficulties with these earlier models are attributable to lack of excavated, well-dated examples, the Bronze Age date attributed to these sites should be treated with caution.