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Pattenshiel Knowe Iron Age/Romano-British farmstead

A Scheduled Monument in Harbottle, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2819 / 55°16'54"N

Longitude: -2.0714 / 2°4'16"W

OS Eastings: 395563.44025

OS Northings: 598643.789095

OS Grid: NY955986

Mapcode National: GBR F7ZC.BD

Mapcode Global: WHB0V.4HWN

Entry Name: Pattenshiel Knowe Iron Age/Romano-British farmstead

Scheduled Date: 23 August 1978

Last Amended: 15 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008890

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20907

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Harbottle

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Elsdon St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a farmstead of Iron Age/Romano British date situated on
a gentle east-facing slope in an area of open heather moorland. The
settlement, sub-circular in shape, measures 45m south-west to north-east by
4Om north-west to south-east within a stone bank 2m wide and up to O.5m in
height. The position of the entrance is difficult to ascertain as the usual
position of entry, in the south-eastern area of the bank, is somewhat denuded.
There are clear traces of internal occupation in the form of the foundations
of at least three sub-circular stone structures; the largest in the south-east
corner of the settlement measures 8m in diameter, within a bank 1m across, and
has an entrance to the north-east. A smaller structure lies 3m to its west
and a third structure lies in the north-western area of the settlement. The
modern stone field wall which clips the north-western side of the enclosure is
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

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.

The settlement at Pattenshiel Knowe survives in a reasonably good state of
preservation and is a good example of its type. Despite some damage from
ploughing and military digging it retains significant archaeological remains.
Evidence relating to the economy of a small but typical farm in Iron
Age/Romano British times will be contained within and beneath its
archaeological deposits.

Source: Historic England


No. 2759,
Pagination 6, Charlton, D B & Day, J C, No. 5 plan 3 Pattenshiel Knowe, An archaeological survey of the MOD training area, North'd, (1977)

Source: Historic England

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