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Romano-British farmstead 350m south of Rattenraw Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Rochester, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.2474 / 55°14'50"N

Longitude: -2.2355 / 2°14'7"W

OS Eastings: 385125.41768

OS Northings: 594823.225426

OS Grid: NY851948

Mapcode National: GBR D7TR.TS

Mapcode Global: WHB0Y.MCPM

Entry Name: Romano-British farmstead 350m south of Rattenraw Farm

Scheduled Date: 22 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009372

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25084

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Rochester

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Horsley with Byrness

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Details

The monument includes the remains of a farmstead of Romano-British date
situated on gently sloping east facing moorland. The farmstead, sub-
rectangular in shape, measures a maximum of 43m east to west by 40m north to
south within a bank of stone and earth 1.5m-2m wide and a maximum height of
0.5m above the exterior ground level. The enclosure walls are best preserved
on the south and west sides; those on the east and north have been partially
robbed of stone. There is an entrance 3m wide in the south east side
enclosure. Within the enclosure a sunken yard, placed on the eastern side of
the entrance, is visible as a large rectangular depression. The sunken yard
placed on the western side of the entrance has been disturbed by later
quarrying. Facing onto these yards, at the rear of the enclosure, there are
the remains of up to seven stone-founded houses ranging in size from 5m to 10m
in diameter. It is thought that those houses placed against the north wall of
the enclosure indicate that the settlement expanded in size during its
occupation.

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 at Rattenraw 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
Charlton, D B, Day, J C, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 5 ser 6' in Excavation and Field Survey in Upper Redesdale, (1978), 78
Charlton, D B, Day, J C, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 5 ser 6' in Excavation and Field Survey in Upper Redesdale, (1978), 77
Other
NY 89 SE 35,

Source: Historic England

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