Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British farmstead, 850m west of Little Swinburne Reservoir

A Scheduled Monument in Chollerton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.0885 / 55°5'18"N

Longitude: -2.1011 / 2°6'4"W

OS Eastings: 393641.478349

OS Northings: 577117.74648

OS Grid: NY936771

Mapcode National: GBR F9RL.XQ

Mapcode Global: WHB1S.PCNG

Entry Name: Romano-British farmstead, 850m west of Little Swinburne Reservoir

Scheduled Date: 29 August 1962

Last Amended: 29 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009694

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20938

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Chollerton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Chollerton St Giles

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a farmstead of Romano-British date situated below the
crest of a small hill in an area of rough grassland. The rectangular farmstead
measures 46m north to south by 40m east to west within a ditch and an external
bank. The surrounding ditch varies between 6m and 8m wide and from 0.3m to
0.9m deep below the interior platform. Outside the ditch there is a bank 4m
wide and 0.4m high. There are entrances in the centre of the east and west
sides with a well preserved causeway across the ditch at the east end. Within
the interior the causeway is visible as a raised area between two scooped
hollows. There are no visible above-ground traces of internal occupation but
the foundations of circular houses will survive beneath ground level. A
granite millstone was reported in 1897 as having been found on the enclosure.

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 farmstead is a well preserved and good example of its type. It is one of
a group of similar settlements in this area and will contribute to study of
the wider settlement pattern at this period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hodgson, J C, The Victoria History of the County of Northumberland: Volume IV, (1897), 175
No. 5447,

Source: Historic England

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