Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British farmstead, 120m south west of Cat's Elbow

A Scheduled Monument in Chollerton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.0724 / 55°4'20"N

Longitude: -2.1126 / 2°6'45"W

OS Eastings: 392908.081499

OS Northings: 575331.370626

OS Grid: NY929753

Mapcode National: GBR F9PS.FH

Mapcode Global: WHB1S.JR7S

Entry Name: Romano-British farmstead, 120m south west of Cat's Elbow

Scheduled Date: 21 July 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008662

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20958

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Chollerton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Chollerton St Giles

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a farmstead of Romano-British date situated on a slight
rise in an area of rough grassland. The sub-rectangular farmstead is
orientated north west to south east and measures a maximum of 50m by 32m
within a stone and earth rampart. The rampart is well-preserved and on
average is 2.5m broad and 0.5m high. There are breaks in it in the north,
east and west sides, but these may not all be original entrances. The western
rampart has been reused as a field boundary at a later date; this sinuous
boundary runs away from the enclosure in a north easterly direction. Within
the farmstead, there are the foundations of three circular houses and two
scooped yard areas.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 Cat's Elbow is well preserved and is a good example of a small
farmstead. It is one of a group of similar settlements in this area and will
contribute to study of the wider settlement pattern at this time.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Hill Forts and Settlements in Northumberland, (1965)

Source: Historic England

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