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Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement 350m WNW of Maisongill

A Scheduled Monument in Asby, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.4928 / 54°29'34"N

Longitude: -2.5067 / 2°30'24"W

OS Eastings: 367275.104172

OS Northings: 510947.879889

OS Grid: NY672109

Mapcode National: GBR BJYH.37

Mapcode Global: WH93C.GBKL

Entry Name: Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement 350m WNW of Maisongill

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1938

Last Amended: 7 February 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011139

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23632

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Asby

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Asby St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Details

The monument is a Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement located on a
gently sloping north-east facing hillside 350m west of Maisongill. It includes
an enclosure wall of turf-covered limestone rubble and earth up to 4.5m wide
and 1.5m high. There is a narrow 2.5m wide entrance on the north-west side of
the enclosure where the wall has been widened to 6.5m on either side of the
opening. This entrance leads into a large sub-rectangular enclosure with a
circular depression 6.5m in diameter at the eastern corner which is the site
of a hut circle. On the north-east side of the enclosure wall is a second
entrance measuring 5m wide. This gives access to a number of irregularly
shaped stock pens, some of which have been partly disturbed by later
quarrying, and another sunken hut circle approximately 6.5m in diameter, also
partly quarried. On the south side of the enclosure wall is a third entrance
measuring 4.5m wide with a slight causeway leading inwards via a passageway
from the opening. This gives access to a group of sub-rectangular stock pens
and two sunken hut circles entered from the passageway: the smaller measuring
6.4m diameter, the larger being oval in plan and measuring 10m by 7.3m.
A modern drystone wall running across the south-eastern corner of the monument
is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 monument is a good example of a Romano-British enclosed hut circle
settlement. Despite a small area of later quarrying at the centre of the site
the monument's earthworks survive reasonably well, preserve considerable
detail of the layout of the site and will facilitate further study of
Romano-British settlement patterns in the area.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)

Source: Historic England

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