Ancient Monuments

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Kingston Down Romano-British farm

A Scheduled Monument in Corfe Castle, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6014 / 50°36'5"N

Longitude: -2.0622 / 2°3'43"W

OS Eastings: 395692.517014

OS Northings: 77964.934611

OS Grid: SY956779

Mapcode National: GBR 341.7F7

Mapcode Global: FRA 67KG.Y51

Entry Name: Kingston Down Romano-British farm

Scheduled Date: 24 January 1951

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002728

English Heritage Legacy ID: DO 158

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Corfe Castle

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Kingston St James

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


Two Romano-British farmsteads with associated field systems on Kingston Down.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 December 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes two Romano-British settlements with their associated field systems situated on the summit of a prominent coastal plateau with steeply sloping sides overlooking the sea at Chapmanā€™s Pool and Egmont Point and the valley of Hill Bottom. The farmsteads survive as two discrete clusters of dwellings within an extensive series of fields defined by stony banks and lynchets and including contemporary tracks. At least thirteen of the fields are apparently undisturbed and are relatively small in size and almost square in plan. The northern settlement contains at least two circular depressions of up to 8m in diameter thought to represent house platforms and from this area tracks and fields emanate. Chance finds of Late Iron Age or Romano-British sherds have been made. The southern settlement contains at least two house platforms one of which is embanked with an entrance to the east, these are of similar size to those of the northern settlement and also appear as the focus for tracks and fields. A stray find of the lower part of an Iron Age rotary quern was recovered from the area in 1971.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Romano-British farmsteads are small agricultural units comprising groups of up to four circular or rectangular houses along with associated structures which may include wells, storage pits, corn-drying ovens and granary stores. These were sometimes constructed within a yard surrounded by a rectangular or curvilinear enclosure, and associated field systems, trackways and cemeteries may be located nearby. Often situated on marginal agricultural land and found throughout the British Isles, they date to the period of Roman occupation (c. AD 43-450). Romano-British farmsteads are generally regarded as low status settlements, with the members of one family or small kinship group pursuing a mixed farming economy. Excavation at these sites has shown a marked continuity with later prehistoric settlements. There is little evidence of personal wealth and a limited uptake of the Romanised way of life. Romano-British farmsteads occur throughout southern England, but cluster on the chalk downland of Wessex, Sussex and Kent. They are the most representative form of rural settlement during the Roman period.

The two Romano-British farmsteads with associated field systems on Kingston Down survive well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to their construction, development, longevity, agricultural practices, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument Nos:-456501, 456502 and 456431

Source: Historic England

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