Ancient Monuments

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Medieval farmstead, 450m north east of Berry Hills

A Scheduled Monument in Kirkwhelpington, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.1454 / 55°8'43"N

Longitude: -2.0483 / 2°2'53"W

OS Eastings: 397021.660286

OS Northings: 583452.80535

OS Grid: NY970834

Mapcode National: GBR G84Y.C9

Mapcode Global: WHB1F.HXVT

Entry Name: Medieval farmstead, 450m north east of Berry Hills

Scheduled Date: 23 May 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008436

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25057

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Kirkwhelpington

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Kirkwhelpington with Kirkharle and Kirkheaton

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a farmstead of medieval date situated on
the end of a promontory formed by the confluence of the Ferneyrigg Burn and
the River Wansbeck. It is divided into two separate areas. The farmstead is
visible as two sub-rectangular contiguous enclosures and a third, irregularly
shaped enclosure. All are very well preserved. The most easterly enclosure
measures a maximum of 54m by 53m within a strong ditch 6m wide; outside the
ditch there is a counter-scarp bank standing to a height of 1.5m above the
botton of the ditch, and best preserved on the northern and western side. The
enclosure is divided internally by a wall, 0.5m high, running north-south
towards the eastern end of the enclosure. There is a circular hollow in the
south east corner of the enclosure. This enclosure is contiguous with the
second sub-rectangular enclosure which measures 42m by 50m within a well
preserved V shaped ditch on average 8m wide and 2m deep below the top of an
internal and an external bank 6m and 9m wide respectively. The enclosure is
divided internally by a wall, 4m wide and 1m high, running east-west. There is
a 20m square platform in the north east corner of this enclosure; this is
interpreted as the platform for a medieval dwelling. The third enclosure is
situated 50m west of the second; it is irregularly shaped and measures 60m
east west by 55m north south. It is bounded by a slight bank and a ditch 8m-
10m wide on the south, east and western sides. Within the enclosure there is a
rectangular platform in the south west corner 10m by 12m which is thought to
represent the remains of a building platform.

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

Farmsteads, normally occupied by only one or two families and comprising small
groups of buildings with attached yards, gardens and enclosures, were a
characteristic feature of the medieval rural landscape. They occur throughout
the country, the intensity of their distribution determined by local
topography and the nature of the agricultural system prevalent within the
region. In some areas of dispersed settlement they were the predominant
settlement form; elsewhere they existed alongside, or were components of, more
nucleated settlement patterns. The sites of many farmsteads have been
occupied down to the present day but others were abandoned as a result of, for
example, declining economic viability, enclosure or emparkment, or epidemics
like the Black Death. In the northern border areas, recurring cross-border
raids and military activities also disrupted agricultural life and led to
abandonments. Farmsteads are a common and long-lived monument type; the
archaeological deposits on those which were abandoned are often well-preserved
and provide important information on regional and national settlement patterns
and farming economies, and on changes in these through time.

The farmstead north east of Berry Hills is very well preserved and retains
significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a variety of medieval
settlement types in the area and will add to our understanding and knowledge
of medieval rural settlement.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser 11' in A New List of the Native Sites of Northumberland, (1946), 172
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 38' in Rectlinear Settlements of the Roman Period in Northumberland, (1960), 36
NY 98 SE 17,

Source: Historic England

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