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Two Romano-British farmsteads known as Ring Stones

A Scheduled Monument in Worsthorne-with-Hurstwood, Lancashire

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Latitude: 53.7933 / 53°47'36"N

Longitude: -2.1738 / 2°10'25"W

OS Eastings: 388648.836026

OS Northings: 433016.269356

OS Grid: SD886330

Mapcode National: GBR FS8K.5Y

Mapcode Global: WHB7Y.LX2B

Entry Name: Two Romano-British farmsteads known as Ring Stones

Scheduled Date: 29 May 1952

Last Amended: 3 September 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009488

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23739

County: Lancashire

Civil Parish: Worsthorne-with-Hurstwood

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire


The monument includes two Romano-British farmsteads, one partly overlying the
other and therefore of later date, located on gently sloping hillside with
extensive views in all directions except the east. They are visible through a
combination of upstanding earthworks and aerial photographs, the latter of
which highlights features such as infilled ditches. The later of the two
farmsteads includes an earth and stone bank or rampart up to 6m wide and 0.5m
high which measures 48m along its west side, 33m on its south side, 39m on its
east side and 37m on its north side. It is flanked by an outer ditch measuring
3m wide by 0.5m deep. There are two entrances approximately 3m wide on
opposite sides; one on the east, the other on the west. To the north east is
an annexe approximately 10m square with a bank similar to that enclosing
the farmstead. There is an entrance on the south side of the annexe. The
aerial photographs show that this annexe originally formed the south east
corner of the earlier farmstead which partly underlies the later one. This
earlier farmstead measured approximately 50m square and the ditch flanking its
south side is still faintly visible as a shallow earthwork running through
the later farmstead. Limited antiquarian investigation of the monument in 1888
located foundations of a structure of uncertain function where the later
farmstead and annexe join, together with an oven and a quern. Further limited
investigation in 1925 found evidence of a cobble floor in the later farmstead
together with cobbles placed at one of the entrances.
A post and wire fence crossing the extreme western edge of the monument is
excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 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.

Aerial photographs have revealed that this monument is a rare example in north
west England of juxtaposed Romano-British farmsteads. They are broadly similar
to examples further north in Cumbria and Northumberland. These farmsteads are
two of four Romano-British farmsteads in the vicinity, each displaying slight
differences in plan, and will contribute to any study of Romano-British native
settlement patterns in Lancashire and the north of England.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Watkins, W T, Roman Lancashire, (1883), 210
'Trans Lancs & Chesh Antiq Soc' in Proceedings-Stone Circles and Ancient Relicts at Extwistle, , Vol. 9, (1893), 158-9
FMW Report, Capstick, B, Ring Stones Camp, (1990)
In Lancs SMR, Ring Stones Camp,
SMR No. 254, Lancs SMR, Ring Stones Camp, (1994)
Woods,G.A., Report Congr Arch Socs, 1926,

Source: Historic England

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