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Romano-British farmstead, 500m north of Watergate

A Scheduled Monument in Wark, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.1136 / 55°6'48"N

Longitude: -2.2981 / 2°17'52"W

OS Eastings: 381084.499705

OS Northings: 579950.344353

OS Grid: NY810799

Mapcode National: GBR D9D9.8Q

Mapcode Global: WH90C.NQWQ

Entry Name: Romano-British farmstead, 500m north of Watergate

Scheduled Date: 13 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008990

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25077

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

Details

The monument includes the remains of a farmstead of Romano-British date
situated on a north east facing slope below the summit of Leek Hill. The
farmstead, sub-rectangular in shape, measures 33m east to west by a maximum of
32m north to south within an earthen bank on average 4m wide and standing 0.5m
high above the interior of the settlement. Surrounding the bank there is a
ditch 5m wide and 0.5m deep below the inner bank; the ditch has been infilled
on all sides except the south, where it is well-preserved. Within the
enclosure, two oval depressions at the eastern end are thought to be the
remains of two sunken yards. At the western end of the enclosure, fronting
onto the most northerly yard, there is a circular stone-founded house 8m in
diameter and a second circular house is visible fronting onto the second
scooped yard.

MAP EXTRACT
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 500m north of Watergate 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

Sources

Books and journals
MacLaughlan, H, Additional Notes on Roman Roads in Northumberland, (1867), 76-7
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser 11' in Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser 11, (1946), 173
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 38' in Rectlinear Settlements of the Roman Period in Northumberland, (1960), 36

Source: Historic England

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