Ancient Monuments

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Enclosed settlement on Ewesley Fell, 1.2km north west of Ewesley

A Scheduled Monument in Nunnykirk, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2277 / 55°13'39"N

Longitude: -1.9227 / 1°55'21"W

OS Eastings: 405011.46828

OS Northings: 592616.644037

OS Grid: NZ050926

Mapcode National: GBR H70Z.JT

Mapcode Global: WHB13.FVMQ

Entry Name: Enclosed settlement on Ewesley Fell, 1.2km north west of Ewesley

Scheduled Date: 13 November 1963

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006486

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 387

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Nunnykirk

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Netherwitton

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes an enclosed settlement of Romano-British date, situated on a north east facing slope overlooking the valley of the River Font. The enclosure, aligned east-west, is sub-rectangular in shape with rounded corners and measures approximately 100m by 50m. It is surrounded by a triple rampart and triple ditch on the north and west sides and a double ramparts and ditches on the east and south sides. There are slight traces of a counterscarp bank and the outer ditch stops abruptly on the north side, which suggests that it was not completed. The ditches vary in width from 6.4m to 10m and are pierced by a causewayed entrance on the east side.

PastScape Monument No:- 21410
Northumberland HER:- 10816

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

In Cumbria and Northumberland several distinctive types of native settlements dating to the Roman period have been identified. The majority were small, non- defensive, enclosed homesteads or farms. In many areas they were of stone construction, although in the coastal lowlands timber-built variants were also common. In much of Northumberland, especially in the Cheviots, the enclosures were curvilinear in form. Further south a rectangular form was more common. Elsewhere, especially near the Scottish border, another type occurs where the settlement enclosure was `scooped' into the hillslope. Frequently the enclosures reveal a regularity and similarity of internal layout. The standard layout included one or more stone round-houses situated towards the rear of the enclosure, facing the single entranceway. In front of the houses were pathways and small enclosed yards. Homesteads normally had only one or two houses, but larger enclosures could contain as many as six. At some sites the settlement appears to have grown, often with houses spilling out of the main enclosure and clustered around it. At these sites up to 30 houses may be found. These homesteads were being constructed and used by non-Roman natives throughout the period of the Roman occupation. Their origins lie in settlement forms developed before the arrival of the Romans. These homesteads are common throughout the uplands where they frequently survive as well-preserved earthworks. In lowland coastal areas they were also originally common, although there they can frequently only be located through aerial photography. All homestead sites which survive substantially intact will normally be identified as nationally important.
The enclosed settlement on Ewesley Fell, survives well and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is one of very few multiple ditched Romano-British monuments in Northumberland; its unusual form is of added interest and it will contribute to any study of late prehistoric and Romano-British settlement and

Source: Historic England

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