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Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement and associated annexe at Lanthwaite Green

A Scheduled Monument in Buttermere, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.5774 / 54°34'38"N

Longitude: -3.3014 / 3°18'5"W

OS Eastings: 315974.609187

OS Northings: 521016.12721

OS Grid: NY159210

Mapcode National: GBR 5HDH.1X

Mapcode Global: WH70B.864R

Entry Name: Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement and associated annexe at Lanthwaite Green

Scheduled Date: 20 June 1973

Last Amended: 2 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013502

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27659

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Buttermere

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Loweswater with Buttermere

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes a Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement and an
associated annexe located on relatively flat land on Lanthwaite Green a short
distance to the east of the B5289 Cockermouth - Buttermere road. The
settlement is sub-circular in plan, measures approximately 58m in diameter
internally, and is defended by a rubble bank or rampart up to 3m wide and 0.3m
high through which there is an entrance on the western side. The interior of
the settlement has been scooped out to form a saucer-like hollow, around the
lip of which the rampart runs. There are traces of three hut circles measuring
3m-4m in diameter scooped into the interior side of the rampart on the south
side of the settlement. These hut circles front into an inner enclosure which
has two sides formed by a low curving bank of stones and a third side formed
by traces of a thin line of stones. There is a narrow entrance near the north
east side of this enclosure. On the eastern side of the settlement there is an
almost identical inner enclosure with a narrow entrance. Within this enclosure
the only feature is a rectangular stepped recess c.2.3m wide cut into the side
of the settlement's rampart; two hut circles c.3.6m in diameter are cut into
the outside of this inner enclosure bank. Elsewhere within the settlement
there is a line of five low oval-shaped rubble mounds which may have
functioned as hut platforms, and faint traces of three small enclosures or
stock pens built by using the settlement's rampart as one wall. Immediately
adjacent to the south west side of the settlement there is a large annexe
bounded on three sides by a stone bank up to 2m wide and 0.2m high. It
measures approximately 70m by 60m and has an entrance which is situated
immediately to the south of the entrance to the settlement. Limited excavation
within the settlement in 1919 found a stone hammer, a number of potboilers
(cobbles heated then dropped into water) and a flat slate disk with a hole
bored through it and possibly used as a net sinker. A quernstone was also
found on the site at about the same time.

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 Romano-British enclosed hut circle settlement at Lanthwaite Green survives
well and remains unencumbered by modern development. It is a rare example in
Cumbria of this class of monument with an associated annexe. Limited
excavation within the settlement during the early 20th century located
pot boilers, and a possible net sinker; a quernstone was also found on the
site at about the same time and further artefactual evidence will exist within
the site. Additionally the monument preserves considerable detail of the
layout of the site and will facilitate further study of the Romano-British
settlement patterns in the area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Mason, J R, Valentine, H, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in The British Village Site At Lanthwaite Green And Other Earthworks, , Vol. XXIV, (1925), 117-120

Source: Historic England

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