Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British farmstead, 175m south of Cockpit Well

A Scheduled Monument in Whitton and Tosson, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2945 / 55°17'40"N

Longitude: -1.9521 / 1°57'7"W

OS Eastings: 403140.792221

OS Northings: 600039.314413

OS Grid: NU031000

Mapcode National: GBR G7T6.5W

Mapcode Global: WHB0W.Z6L1

Entry Name: Romano-British farmstead, 175m south of Cockpit Well

Scheduled Date: 6 August 1954

Last Amended: 26 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009582

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20876

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Whitton and Tosson

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a farmstead of Romano-British date situated on a flat
area of ground immediately above the Routing Burn. Its situation, in an area
of natural springs, commands extensive views to the north over the Coquet
valley. The farmstead survives as an enclosure 35m east-west by 50m north
-south and is defined by a substantial ditch measuring 7m across and surviving
in places up to 1.5 metres deep. There is an outer bank 3.5m across and 0.4m
high and at the southern end of the monument there are slight traces of an
inner bank 0.2m high. A single entrance on the eastern side takes the form of
a causeway 5m wide across the ditch. The interior of the farmstead is heavily
overgrown with bracken and the remains of the house foundations, yards and
enclosures are not visible but will survive as buried features beneath the
ground surface.

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.

This is a good example of a rectangular Romano-British farmstead.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 38' in Rectlinear Settlements of the Roman Period in Northumberland, , Vol. 38, (1960)

Source: Historic England

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