Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British farmstead, 250m east of King's Crags

A Scheduled Monument in Simonburn, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.0348 / 55°2'5"N

Longitude: -2.3131 / 2°18'46"W

OS Eastings: 380088.206102

OS Northings: 571184.723077

OS Grid: NY800711

Mapcode National: GBR DB96.0Z

Mapcode Global: WH90R.FQS4

Entry Name: Romano-British farmstead, 250m east of King's Crags

Scheduled Date: 4 June 1970

Last Amended: 23 August 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011074

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20974

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Simonburn

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Simonburn

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the site of a farmstead of Romano-British date situated
on a prominent ridge and partly overlain by a 19th century plantation. The
small rectangular enclosure is orientated east-west and measures a maximum of
40m by 24m within a stone rampart. The rampart is well preserved and on
average is 2.5m broad and 1m high. There is an entrance 2m wide in the eastern
side. The western side of the enclosure is protected by two ramparts separated
by a ditch 1m wide.

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 site at King's Crags is well preserved and is a good example of a small
farmstead. It is one of a group of native settlements in the immediate
vicinity of Hadrian's Wall and will contribute to study of the wider
settlement pattern at this time and on the effect of the construction of the
Roman frontier system on that settlement pattern.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 38' in Rectlinear Settlements of the Roman Period in Northumberland, (1960), 35

Source: Historic England

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