Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British settlement, 490m SSE of Apperley Dene

A Scheduled Monument in Broomley and Stocksfield, Northumberland

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Latitude: 54.9169 / 54°55'0"N

Longitude: -1.9148 / 1°54'53"W

OS Eastings: 405559.419485

OS Northings: 558020.294555

OS Grid: NZ055580

Mapcode National: GBR HC2L.77

Mapcode Global: WHB2N.KPD1

Entry Name: Romano-British settlement, 490m SSE of Apperley Dene

Scheduled Date: 8 August 1957

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006504

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 314

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Broomley and Stocksfield

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Whittonstall St Philip and St James

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a Romano-British settlement, situated near the summit of the low lying Castle Hill and adjacent to the Roman Road, Dere Street. The enclosure is rectilinear in shape and measures approximately 35m by 33m, within the low earthworks of two ditches. There is a causewayed entrance across the ditches in the north east side. The monument was partially excavated in 1951 and 1974-5 which revealed that the enclosure had two structural phases and was of unusual form. The first phase dates to the 2nd century AD and comprised a rectilinear double-ditched enclosure with a timber gateway and at least one timber round house. The second phase involved the re-occupation of the site in the 3rd century AD and the construction of several stone structures. The second phase enclosure was demolished in the mid-4th century AD and the site was not re-occupied after 370AD.
A boundary which crosses the farmstead is excluded from the monument although the ground beneath this feature is included.

PastScape Monument No:- 20275
Northumberland HER:- 9839

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. In the Cumbrian uplands the settlements were of less regimented form and unenclosed clusters of houses of broadly contemporary date are also known. 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 Romano-British settlement SSE of Apperley Dene is reasonably well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment. Its unusual double ditched form enhances the significance of the monument, as does it close association with the Roman Road. This monument will add to our knowledge and understanding of native settlement during the Romano-British period.

Source: Historic England

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