Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British farmstead 400m WSW of Hetchester

A Scheduled Monument in Bavington, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.1121 / 55°6'43"N

Longitude: -2.0884 / 2°5'18"W

OS Eastings: 394459.831049

OS Northings: 579745.90027

OS Grid: NY944797

Mapcode National: GBR F9VB.N8

Mapcode Global: WHB1L.WRQW

Entry Name: Romano-British farmstead 400m WSW of Hetchester

Scheduled Date: 4 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011552

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21028

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Bavington

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Thockrington St Aidan

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a farmstead of Romano-British date
situated on the eastern slope of a low hill. The farmstead, sub-rectangular in
shape, measures 45m east-west by a maximum of 50m north-south within an inner
bank 5m wide and 0.3m high. The inner bank is visible on the western side
only; elsewhere the bank has been levelled. Outside the bank there is a broad
ditch up to 6m wide and 0.8m deep. On the outer edge of the ditch there are
traces of a counterscarp bank on the south-western side. An entrance, 4m
wide, in the eastern wall of the enclosure is carried across the ditch on a
causeway. It leads into the enclosure and to two shallow hollows. These are
interpreted as two scooped yards associated with the use of the farmstead.
Such yards in this position are a common feature of this type of settlement.

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 west of Hetchester survives very well and retains significant
archaeological deposits. 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



Source: Historic England

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