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Romano-British settlement and Iron Age defended settlement, 550m north east of Shaftoe Grange

A Scheduled Monument in Capheaton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.1356 / 55°8'8"N

Longitude: -1.9172 / 1°55'2"W

OS Eastings: 405373.675695

OS Northings: 582357.423708

OS Grid: NZ053823

Mapcode National: GBR H911.QV

Mapcode Global: WHB1P.J57V

Entry Name: Romano-British settlement and Iron Age defended settlement, 550m north east of Shaftoe Grange

Scheduled Date: 17 March 1995

Last Amended: 4 October 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013757

English Heritage Legacy ID: 25150

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Capheaton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Cambo Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a Romano-British settlement and a
possible Iron Age settlement, situated in a promontory position on the edge of
Salters Nick crags. The Romano-British settlement is formed by a single
curving rampart of stone and earth which runs from the southern edge of
Salters Nick and terminates at the other end of the cliff edge forming an
irregularly shaped enclosure which is afforded good natural defence on the
western, southern and northern sides. The enclosure measures a maximum of 70m
north east to south west by 48m north west to south east. The earthen rampart
is on average 6m-8m wide and stands to a maximum height of 1m. Within the
enclosure there are the remains of at least three stone founded circular
houses on average 9m in diameter. This settlement is thought to be situated
within an earlier Iron Age settlement; the enclosing rampart of the earlier
settlement is placed some 12m to 18m to the east and encloses an area of 44m
east to west by a maximum of 93m. The internal dwellings associated with this
earlier settlement have been obscured by the construction of the later
Romano-British settlement. The fence line which crosses the northern part of
the monument from west to east is excluded from the scheduling but the ground
beneath it is included.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

During the mid-prehistoric period (seventh to fifth centuries BC) a variety of
different types of defensive settlements began to be constructed and occupied
in the northern uplands of England. The most obvious sites were hillforts
built in prominent locations. In addition to these a range of smaller sites,
sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha and defined as defended
settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops,
others are found in less prominent positions. The enclosing defences were of
earthen construction, some sites having a single bank and ditch (univallate),
others having more than one (multivallate). At some sites these earthen
ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber
fence or palisade. Within the enclosure a number of stone or timber-built
round houses were occupied by the inhabitants. Stock may also have been kept
in these houses, especially during the cold winter months, or in enclosed
yards outside them. The communities occupying these sites were probably single
family groups, the defended settlements being used as farmsteads. Construction
and use of this type of site extended over several centuries, possibly through
to the early Romano-British period (mid to late first century AD).
Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element
of the later prehistoric settlement pattern of the northern uplands and are
important for any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during
this period. All well-preserved examples are believed to be of national

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 the enclosures were curvilinear in form.
Further south a rectangular form was more common. 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. At some sites the settlements appear to
have grown, often with houses spilling out of the main enclosure and clustered
around it. 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 Iron Age defended settlement and Romano-British settlement near Shaftoe
Grange are reasonably well preserved and retain significant archaeological

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Ball, T, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser vol 10' in Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser vol 10, (1921), 172
Ball, T, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser vol 10' in Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 3 ser vol 10, (1921), 244-6
Hogg, A H A, 'Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser vol 2' in Proc Soc Antiq Ncle 4 ser vol 2, (1947), 172
Jobey, G, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Rectlinear Sites of the Roman Period in Northumberland, (1964)
NZ08SE 22,

Source: Historic England

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