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Bran's Walls Romano-British enclosed settlements, 400m SSE of Kielder Head

A Scheduled Monument in Kielder, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.2718 / 55°16'18"N

Longitude: -2.5248 / 2°31'29"W

OS Eastings: 366752.058198

OS Northings: 597639.230623

OS Grid: NY667976

Mapcode National: GBR B7TH.50

Mapcode Global: WH8ZH.5RZG

Entry Name: Bran's Walls Romano-British enclosed settlements, 400m SSE of Kielder Head

Scheduled Date: 20 June 1973

Last Amended: 13 December 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009670

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25110

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Kielder

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Falstone with Greystead and Thorneyburn

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of two settlements of Romano-British date,
situated on a north west facing slope overlooking the valley of the Kielder
Burn. The most northerly settlement is roughly oval in shape and measures a
maximum of 28m north west to south east by 58m north east to south west,
within a bank of stone and earth varying between 3m to 5m wide and standing to
a maximum height of 1.2m above the exterior ground level. The enclosure is
subdivided at its northern end into two compartments by a broad earthen bank.
There are the remains of at least eight stone-founded circular houses with
diameters of between 5m to 10m within the enclosure, two of which have been
built into the broad dividing wall. Three of the other circular houses are
situated in the south eastern corner of the enclosure upon a raised platform.
There are two well defined entrances in the easten side of the enclosure,
towards the northern end. The second settlement, situated 20m south of the
first is long, narrow and irregularly shaped and has been scooped into the
hillslope on the eastern side. It measures a maximum of 68m north to south by
40m east to west externally and is bounded on the west side by a substantial
bank of stone and earth 5m wide and standing to a maximum height of 1m. There
is an entrance through the north and the south walls of the enclosures. Within
the enclosure there are the remains of at least six stone-founded circular
houses ranging in diameter from 6m to 10m. It is considered that more than one
phase is represented by the remains at this monument.

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 two settlements at Bran's Walls are very well preserved and retain
significant archaeological deposits. There are few surviving examples
of this form of Romano-British settlement in this area, and they will
contribute to our knowledge and understanding of settlement and activity at
this time.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
MacLaughlan, H, Additional Notes on Roman Roads in Northumberland, (1867), 64
MacLaughlan, H, Additional Notes on Roman Roads in Northumberland, (1867), 64
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser 10' in A New List of the Native Sites in Northumberland, (1947), 166
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser 10' in A New List of the Native Sites in Northumberland, (1947), 166
Spain, G R B, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser 10' in Bran's Walls Camp, Kielder Burn, Northumberland, (1921), 82-84
NY 69 NE 02,

Source: Historic England

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