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Romano-British settlement and Romano-British farmstead north-east and east of Gilts

A Scheduled Monument in Crosby Ravensworth, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.5015 / 54°30'5"N

Longitude: -2.5744 / 2°34'27"W

OS Eastings: 362900.008041

OS Northings: 511951.594832

OS Grid: NY629119

Mapcode National: GBR BJGD.G3

Mapcode Global: WH93B.F3BW

Entry Name: Romano-British settlement and Romano-British farmstead north-east and east of Gilts

Scheduled Date: 13 December 1938

Last Amended: 27 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007578

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22465

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Crosby Ravensworth

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Crosby Ravensworth St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes a Romano-British settlement and a Romano-British
farmstead located on a gently graded north facing slope east of Ravens Gill,
250m north-east and 220m east of Gilts respectively. It is one of a number of
such sites surrounding the head of the Lyvennet valley. The Romano-British
settlement includes turf covered stone walls up to 1m high that enclose a
series of rectangular and irregularly-shaped fields containing smaller
enclosures that were stock pens. There are faint indications of an entrance
with an internal passage or trackway. A turf covered wall forms the eastern
boundary of the site and continues on a north-easterly alignment for a further
33m. This wall also continues on a southerly alignment for a further 100m
where it connects with the north-western side of the turf covered enclosure
wall of a Romano-British farmstead. This farmstead includes an egg-shaped
enclosure with the apex towards the south-east. There is an entrance at the
mid-point of the south-western side that is flanked internally with traces of
two or three circular huts. Towards the centre of the enclosure is a round
house 8m in diameter and elsewhere are traces of walls forming small
rectangular enclosures that were stock pens.
The settlement and farmstead would have been in use during the Roman conquest
of the north. They lie within an area occupied by the Carvetii tribe.
A drystone wall adjacent to the north-eastern side of the farmstead and
crossing the wall connecting the farmstead with the settlement is excluded
from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 monument is a good example of a small Romano-British native settlement and
farmstead in close proximity. The earthworks survive well and preserve much
detail of the layout of the site. It is one of a group of similar sites at the
head of the Lyvennet valley and will contribute to the study of Romano-British
settlement patterns in this area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Higham, N, Jones, B, The Carvetti, (1985), 132-3
Alcock, L, 'Archaeologia Cambrensis' in Gwyr Y Gogledd, , Vol. CXXXII, (1983), 4
Ebbatson,L., MPP Single Mon Class Descriptions - Romano-British Farmsteads, (1989)
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)

Source: Historic England

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