Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British farmstead, 650m ENE of Wolf Crag

A Scheduled Monument in Kirkwhelpington, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.1911 / 55°11'28"N

Longitude: -2.0292 / 2°1'45"W

OS Eastings: 398239.851048

OS Northings: 588538.37825

OS Grid: NY982885

Mapcode National: GBR G88D.HY

Mapcode Global: WHB17.SSX8

Entry Name: Romano-British farmstead, 650m ENE of Wolf Crag

Scheduled Date: 7 March 1968

Last Amended: 29 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011114

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21010

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Kirkwhelpington

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Kirkwhelpington with Kirkharle and Kirkheaton

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a farmstead of Romano-British date
situated on the edge of a low ridge above a tributary of the Fairnley Burn.
The farmstead, slightly trapezoidal in form, measures a maximum of 93m east-
west by 70m north-south within a well preserved ditch up to 10m wide. Within
the ditch there is a fragmentary bank 5m wide and 0.5m high, best preserved on
the eastern side of the enclosure. Outside the ditch there is a counter-scarp
bank 6m wide and 0.5m high. An entrance 3.5m wide in the centre of the eastern
side is carried across the ditch on a causeway. Traces of causeways across the
ditch on the eastern side are probably modern features.

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 farmstead east of Wolf Crags is well preserved and retains significant
archaeological remains. Additionally, it is one of a group of similar
settlements in the area and will contribute to any study of the settlement
pattern at this time.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hogg, A H A, 'Antiquity 17' in Native Settlements Of Northumberland, (1944), 140
NY 98 NE 03,

Source: Historic England

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