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Millrigg Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement

A Scheduled Monument in Over Staveley, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.4152 / 54°24'54"N

Longitude: -2.8324 / 2°49'56"W

OS Eastings: 346075.964934

OS Northings: 502508.854642

OS Grid: NY460025

Mapcode National: GBR 8KND.L1

Mapcode Global: WH82G.G9G3

Entry Name: Millrigg Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement

Scheduled Date: 30 March 1925

Last Amended: 19 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008898

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23701

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Over Staveley

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Kentmere St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes Millrigg Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement
located upon a small hillside terrace on the eastern side of the Kentmere
valley. The settlement is of irregular oval shape and includes an enclosure
bank or wall 2m-3m thick and up to 1m high which is edged with large stones
and has an infilling of small rubble. There are four entrances; two of which
on the north east and south east sides have been subsequently blocked, while
those on the north and west sides remain open. Adjacent to the south east
entrance the enclosure wall turns inwards around the foot of a small mound
which is thought to have been an additional defensive feature guarding the
gateway. This entrance opens onto a passageway giving access into the
enclosure's interior. At the northern entrance the enclosure wall turns
outward for a short distance, while internally there are traces of another
passageway giving access into the interior. At the western entrance the
enclosure wall has traces of an internal return or projection. Within the
enclosure there is a roughly pentagonal central enclosure with maximum
internal dimensions of approximately 14m by 12m. Elsewhere within the main
enclosure there are the foundations of seven hut circles having internal
diameters ranging between c.5.5m-8m. At a later date a c.27m long by 1.3m
high length of stone wall or bank was constructed overlying part of the
south east side of the enclosure wall.
Limited antiquarian excavation within one of the hut circles located a hearth
and part of an armlet of second century AD date.
A modern drystone wall crossing the monument is excluded from the scheduling,
but the ground beneath this feature is included.

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.

Millrigg Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement survives well and
remains largely unencumbered by modern development. Limited antiquarian
investigation of one of the hut circles located a hearth and a second century
AD artefact, and further environmental and artefactual evidence will exist
within the site. Additionally the monument preserves considerable detail of
the layout of the site and will facilitate further study of the Romano-British
settlement patterns of the area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Trans Cumb & West Antiq & Arch Soc. New Ser.' in , , Vol. 1, (1900), 175
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)
SMR No. 1915, Cumbria SMR, Millrigg British Settlement, Kentmere, (1985)

Source: Historic England

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