Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British farmstead 200m west of Lambing Knott

A Scheduled Monument in Buttermere, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.529 / 54°31'44"N

Longitude: -3.2516 / 3°15'5"W

OS Eastings: 319096.83607

OS Northings: 515582.708245

OS Grid: NY190155

Mapcode National: GBR 5JQ2.T7

Mapcode Global: WH70K.0FW9

Entry Name: Romano-British farmstead 200m west of Lambing Knott

Scheduled Date: 17 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013604

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27670

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 farmstead 200m west of Lambing Knott.
It is located on gently sloping fellside close to the foot of the hill and
includes a sub-circular enclosure containing two hut circles. The enclosure
has internal measurements of approximately 43m north-south by 50m east-west
and is defended by a turf-covered rubble wall which has been built up on the
downslope south and west sides in an attempt to level the interior of the
enclosure. The wall is best preserved on the south west where it measures up
to 9m wide and 2m high on its outer side. There is an entrance measuring c.4m
wide on the enclosure's south west side. At the centre of the enclosure there
is a flat circular area measuring c.6m in diameter which has been cut into the
hillslope on its north side and levelled on its downslope south side. A short
distance to the north there is a similar flat circular area measuring 4m in
diameter. Both of these features are interpreted as the site of hut circles.
The enclosure wall has been partially disturbed on the eastern side to provide
stone for a post-medieval wall and an attached sheep pen, both of which have
now tumbled and are disused.
The drystone wall and sheep pen are excluded from the scheduling but the
ground beneath them is included.

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.

Despite some robbing of the enclosure wall to provide stone for a
post-medieval wall and sheep pen, the monument survives reasonably well and
remains largely unencumbered by modern development. It preserves considerable
detail of the layout of the site and will facilitate any further study of
Romano-British settlement patterns in the area.

Source: Historic England


SMR No. 1221, Cumbria SMR, Lambing Knott, (1985)

Source: Historic England

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