Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British farmstead, 400m north-east of Sharpley

A Scheduled Monument in Simonburn, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.0477 / 55°2'51"N

Longitude: -2.1854 / 2°11'7"W

OS Eastings: 388250.901138

OS Northings: 572592.367104

OS Grid: NY882725

Mapcode National: GBR FB52.NB

Mapcode Global: WHB1Y.DDK6

Entry Name: Romano-British farmstead, 400m north-east of Sharpley

Scheduled Date: 7 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011082

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20983

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Simonburn

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Simonburn

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Details

The monument includes the site of a farmstead of Romano-British date situated
on the end of a low ridge with extensive views to the north, east and west.
The small rectangular enclosure is orientated east-west and measures a maximum
of 53m by 25m within a single rampart of earth and stone. The rampart is on
average 4m wide and varies in height from 0.3 to 0.6m. There is a large gap in
the perimeter bank at the north-east corner where an entrance may have
existed. Within the enclosure the circular depressions of two prehistoric
buildings are visible, both with entrances to the east.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

Despite some damage from surface quarrying, the site at Sharpley survives well
and is a good example of a small farmstead. It is one of a group of native
prehistoric settlements in the vicinity of Hadrian's Wall and will contribute
to study of the wider settlement pattern at this time.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana 4 ser 38' in Rectlinear Settlements of the Roman Period in Northumberland, (1960), 35
Other
NY 87 SE 21,

Source: Historic England

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