During the Iron Age (7th to 5th century BC), defensive settlements were constructed and occupied around the fringes of the Cheviot Hills. Hillforts were built in prominent locations, and their remains can still be seen today; many of them are within Northumberland National Park and can be reached by experienced walkers. Access to the largest of these, Yeavering Bell, is from Kirknewton – a short drive from Carham parish.
As well as hillforts, smaller sites defined as defended settlements were built on hilltops and also in less prominent positions. The remains of at least three of these defended settlements lie within the parish boundaries: Downham camp, East Moneylaws camp and Moneylaws Castle Hill camp. All three are Scheduled Monuments. They are on private land, but the location of East Moneylaws camp can be seen from the public footpath.