Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British farmstead, 400m north east of Hole House

A Scheduled Monument in Wark, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.0898 / 55°5'23"N

Longitude: -2.2596 / 2°15'34"W

OS Eastings: 383527.52656

OS Northings: 577294.534545

OS Grid: NY835772

Mapcode National: GBR D9NL.L7

Mapcode Global: WHB1Q.8B7F

Entry Name: Romano-British farmstead, 400m north east of Hole House

Scheduled Date: 4 June 1962

Last Amended: 6 September 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008987

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25072

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Wark

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Wark St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a farmstead of Romano-British date
situated on the top of an east-west ridge above the Warks Burn. The farmstead,
sub-rectangular in shape, measures 47m east to west by a maximum of 37m north
to south within a broad ditch 6m-10m wide. Where best preserved, on the
northern and western sides, this ditch is 1.3m deep. Where it is visible on
the eastern side, the ditch is of slighter proportions and on the south side
it has been infilled. Within the ditch, and best preserved on the east side,
there is an earthen bank 2m to 3m wide and standing 0.5m high above the
interior of the settlement. There is an entrance in the east side which is
carried across the ditch on a raised causeway. The causeway is visible for a
distance of 8m outside the enclosure and continues for 10m within the
enclosure. Within the enclosure the remains of two sunken yards placed either
side of the causeway are visible as large, shallow depressions.

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 farmstead 400m north east of Hole House is reasonably well-preserved and
retains significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a group of similar
Romano-British settlements in the area and will contribute to any study of the
settlement pattern at this time.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 38' in Rectlinear Settlements of the Roman Period in Northumberland, (1960), 32
NY 87 NW 16,

Source: Historic England

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