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Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement at Heck Beck, Bannerdale

A Scheduled Monument in Patterdale, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.5303 / 54°31'49"N

Longitude: -2.8931 / 2°53'35"W

OS Eastings: 342303.085623

OS Northings: 515372.678003

OS Grid: NY423153

Mapcode National: GBR 8J71.GS

Mapcode Global: WH81V.JDKB

Entry Name: Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement at Heck Beck, Bannerdale

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1938

Last Amended: 13 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011360

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22563

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Patterdale

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Martindale St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument is a Romano-British enclosed stone hut circle settlement located
in the remote valley of Bannerdale, on a sloping shelf either side of Heck
Beck which runs through the site. It includes an enclosure wall 0.9m - 1.4m
wide and 0.6m high which is visible at the south-west, north and north-east
sides of the settlement only. A mound of large outcropping rocks is
incorporated into the wall in the north-west side adjacent to which is a
re-entrant or inwardly pointing entrance. South of Heck Beck, and within the
enclosure wall, are three hut circles having internal diameters of between
1.4m - 7.3m. Immediately north of the beck is an area of irregular small
enclosures, with a well defined entrance of flat stones through the enclosure
wall, within which are 5 hut circles with internal diameters between 1.5m -
6.4m. At the north-eastern end of the site three sub-rectangular enclosures,
two of which have entrances defined by large flat stones, have been
constructed against the internal side of the enclosure wall. Close by are two
hut circles with internal diameters of 6.2m and 4.5m. Dominating the
north-eastern end of the settlement is a well preserved irregular enclosure
with walls up to 7.3m thick constructed of stones standing up to 0.9m high.
This enclosure is sub-divided into two main parts, each with clearly marked
entrances on the east, and is thought to indicate a rebuilding and/or
enlargement of the settlement.
A modern drystone wall running across the monument is excluded from the
scheduling although the ground beneath it is included.

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 stone hut circle
settlement which exhibits several phases of occupation and activity. Its
earthworks survive 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


RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)

Source: Historic England

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