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Ewe Close Romano-British enclosed and unenclosed stone hut circle settlements and associated field system, medieval farmstead and Wicker Street Roman road

A Scheduled Monument in Crosby Ravensworth, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.5149 / 54°30'53"N

Longitude: -2.6046 / 2°36'16"W

OS Eastings: 360953.174664

OS Northings: 513454.262166

OS Grid: NY609134

Mapcode National: GBR BJ77.X9

Mapcode Global: WH933.YSV6

Entry Name: Ewe Close Romano-British enclosed and unenclosed stone hut circle settlements and associated field system, medieval farmstead and Wicker Street Roman road

Scheduled Date: 24 April 1925

Last Amended: 2 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007589

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22476

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

Details

The monument includes Ewe Close Romano-British enclosed and unenclosed stone
hut circle settlements and associated field system, a medieval farmstead, and
a length of Wicker Street Roman road. The Romano-British native settlement is
one of a number located around the head of the Lyvennet valley and is
situated on a gently graded north-east facing hillside above Dalebanks Beck.
It includes a stone-walled enclosure measuring c.70m square with rounded
angles and a gate almost centrally placed in the south side. In the centre of
the enclosure is a large circular stone hut with an internal diameter of
15.2m. Close by is a small hut containing a furnace, and clustered around the
gateway are 9 other small huts. There is a well at the eastern side of the
enclosure and a rectangular stockpen at the western side. The eastern side of
the enclosure is sub-divided into two smaller enclosures. East of the main
enclosure are a series of sub-rectangular fields, some containing stockpens,
whilst to the south there is a group of nearly a dozen circular stone huts and
a stockpen. To the west is part of Wicker Street, the Roman road linking forts
at Low Borrow Bridge and Brougham. It measures 7.6m wide at this point.
Overlying part of the sub-rectangular field system and some of the unenclosed
stone hut circles is a medieval farmstead that includes a rectangular stone
building, a paved farmyard or stockpen, and a small outbuilding. A series of
banks associated with the medieval farmstead exist around the site whilst to
the south are foundations of two rectangular structures constructed against
the remains of a stone boundary wall.
Limited excavation of the monument occured in 1907/8. Pottery included 2nd-
late 3rd/early 4th century wares. During this period the site lay within an
area occupied by the Carvetii tribe.
All modern field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

Ewe Close is the best preserved Romano-British native settlement in north-west
England. Its earthworks survive well and preserve much detail of the layout of
the settlement. It is one of a group of similar settlements at the head of the
Lyvennet valley and will contribute to the study of Romano-British settlement
patterns in the north.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Higham, N, Jones, B, The Carvetti, (1985), 132-3
Alcock, L, 'Archaeologia Cambrensis' in Archaeologia Cambrensis, , Vol. CXXXII, (1983), 4
Alcock, L, 'Archaeologia Cambrensis' in Gwyr Y Gogledd, (1983), 4
Alcock, L, 'Archaeologia Cambrensis' in Gwyr Y Gogledd, (1983), 4
Collingwood, R G, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Prehistoric Settlements in Crosby Ravensworth, (1933), 201-7
Collingwood, R G, 'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Prehistoric Settlements in Crosby Ravensworth, (1933), 201-7
Collingwood, W G, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser., , Vol. IX, (1909), 296-309
Collingwood, W G, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc New Ser' in Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc New Ser, , Vol. IX, (1909), 296-309
Collingwood, W G, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc New Ser' in , , Vol. IX, (), 296-309
Ross, P, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc New Ser' in The Roman Road North Of Low Borrow Bridge To Brougham Castle, , Vol. XX, (1920), 7-8
Other
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)

Source: Historic England

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