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Romano-British enclosed settlement 400m south east of Woolaw

A Scheduled Monument in Rochester, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.2765 / 55°16'35"N

Longitude: -2.281 / 2°16'51"W

OS Eastings: 382245.264477

OS Northings: 598080.931047

OS Grid: NY822980

Mapcode National: GBR D7HF.Z9

Mapcode Global: WH8ZL.XMZS

Entry Name: Romano-British enclosed settlement 400m south east of Woolaw

Scheduled Date: 22 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009374

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25089

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 settlement of Romano-British date,
situated on a gentle south west facing slope above the River Rede. The
settlement is visible as a rectangular enclosure with the remains of at least
four circular stone houses set into the north west side. The enclosure
measures a maximum of 32m south west to north east by 31m north west to south
east within a bank of stone and earth 1m-3m wide and standing to a maximum
height of 1m above the exterior ground level. The west wall of the enclosure
has been largely levelled but it is visible as a low bank of earth on the
north west side. There are two entrances in the south east side of the
enclosure and an internal wall subdivides the interior. The hut circles range
in size from 6m to 8m in diameter. The stone field wall which crosses the
northern edge of the monument is excluded from the scheduling but the ground
beneath this feature is included.

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 south east of Woolaw 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), 77
Charlton, D B, Day, J C, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 5 ser 6' in Excavation and Field Survey in Upper Redesdale, (1978), 75

Source: Historic England

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