Ancient Monuments

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Settlement north of Coldburn

A Scheduled Monument in Kirknewton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5115 / 55°30'41"N

Longitude: -2.1718 / 2°10'18"W

OS Eastings: 389248.592469

OS Northings: 624206.676745

OS Grid: NT892242

Mapcode National: GBR F48Q.M3

Mapcode Global: WH9ZM.MQ0P

Entry Name: Settlement north of Coldburn

Scheduled Date: 12 June 1973

Last Amended: 16 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008477

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24576

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Kirknewton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Kirknewton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a Roman period native settlement visible as an oval
enclosure situated on a level platform located on a south west slope. The
northern side of the enclosure is scooped into the south west facing slope.
The enclosure bank consists of a single bank of earth and stones with large
stones exposed on the south and east sides and encloses an area 0.45ha. The
bank survives to a maximum height of 2m on the north side and 0.7m on the
south side and the total area of the monument including the enclosure bank is
0.15 ha.
The entrance is located on the east side of the enclosure and is 2.5 metres
wide. Although no longer visible above ground, the remains of buildings
originally located in the settlement will be preserved beneath the present
ground surface.

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.

This site at Coldburn is in good condition and is largely intact. It is a good
example of a Roman period native setlement and along with other examples in
this area, will contribute to the study of settlement pattern and land use at
this time.

Source: Historic England

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