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Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement and Romano-British farmstead north west of Tongue House Barn.

A Scheduled Monument in Kentmere, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.4544 / 54°27'15"N

Longitude: -2.8473 / 2°50'50"W

OS Eastings: 345159.858324

OS Northings: 506885.862587

OS Grid: NY451068

Mapcode National: GBR 8JKY.C0

Mapcode Global: WH828.79CJ

Entry Name: Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement and Romano-British farmstead north west of Tongue House Barn.

Scheduled Date: 31 July 1973

Last Amended: 23 September 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008899

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23702

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Kentmere

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Kentmere St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes a Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement
and a Romano-British farmstead located on a natural glacial mound at the
foot of Tongue Scar in the upper Kentmere valley a short distance north west
of Tongue House Barn.
The Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement has a roughly circular
enclosure wall up to 3m thick and 1m high which is edged with large stones and
has an infilling of small rubble. The enclosure measures approximately 72m by
68m and has an entrance mid way along the western side where the enclosure
wall turns inwards to form a passageway giving access into the interior. There
is a second entrance on the north side and traces of a third on the east side.
Within the enclosure there are the foundations of ten stone based circular
huts having internal diameters ranging between c.4m-15m. Three of the hut
circles within the north east quadrant of the enclosure and the hut circle
near the centre of the enclosure are constructed on distinct platforms. The
six largest hut circles are all freestanding and are thought to be dwellings;
three smaller hut circles backing into the enclosure wall just north of the
main entrance are thought to have been storage sheds or guard huts. To the
south east and south west of the enclosure there are traces of two stone lined
About 27m to the north west of the stone hut circle settlement there is a
small Romano-British farmstead which is joined to the larger site by a track.
The farmstead has an sub-circular enclosure wall c.2m-5m thick and up to 1m
high and an internal diameter of approximately 20m. It is entered at the south
east side but there are also traces of a narrow entrance on the north east
side. Within the enclosure are two hut circles with internal diameters of
approximately 6m built into the north and north west sides of the enclosure
A modern drystone wall on the monument's south side 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.

The Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement and the Romano-British
farmstead north west of Tongue House Barn survive reasonably well, remain
unencumbered by modern development, and preserve considerable detail of the
layout of the site. The monument is a good example of a small Romano-British
native settlement and farmstead in close proximity and will facilitate any
further study of the Romano-British settlement patterns of the area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Inglesfield, W M, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in A Second Settlement Found at Kentmere, (1972), 320-23
Inglesfield, W M, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in A Second Settlement Found at Kentmere, (1972), 321-3
SMR No. 1910, Cumbria SMR, Settlement W of Tongue House Barn, Kentmere, (1987)

Source: Historic England

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