Ancient Monuments

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Enclosed settlement west of Mid Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Kilham, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5604 / 55°33'37"N

Longitude: -2.2018 / 2°12'6"W

OS Eastings: 387371.041402

OS Northings: 629656.914762

OS Grid: NT873296

Mapcode National: GBR F424.3K

Mapcode Global: WH9ZF.4HTN

Entry Name: Enclosed settlement west of Mid Hill

Scheduled Date: 22 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008359

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24567

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Kilham

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Kirknewton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes an enclosed native settlement typical of the Roman
period. The settlement is contained within a turf-covered, stone-built bank
forming a 'D'shape, which encloses about 0.3ha. It is situated on level
ground overlooking a valley to the east and the coastal plains to the north.
The bank has an average width of 5m, but at the north side the bank widens
significantly to 8.7m. The average height of the bank is 1m. An entrance
is visible on the western side and this would appear to be an accessible
route into the site from lower ground. Another possible entrance is located
on the east side which would provide access from the adjacent valley.
The interior of the enclosure is very uneven with several shallow scoops
forming house platforms. At least seven hut circles are visible, four of
which survive only as slight traces. Two of the hut circles in the southern
half of the site have associated enclosures, presumably for controlling
stock. The north east angle has a relatively modern sheepfold built on top of
another set of hut circle foundations. All hut circles have entrances facing
ENE and have average diameters of 9m. The sheepfold is built of roughly
dressed stone and measures 7.4m long by 5.7m wide.

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 settlement west of Mid Hill is substantially intact. It is one of a number
of similar sites in this area and will contribute to the study of Romano-
British settlement patterns here.

Source: Historic England

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