Ancient Monuments

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Roman period native enclosed farmstead, 470m ESE of Fleehope

A Scheduled Monument in Kirknewton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5052 / 55°30'18"N

Longitude: -2.1778 / 2°10'40"W

OS Eastings: 388865.479272

OS Northings: 623502.571874

OS Grid: NT888235

Mapcode National: GBR F47S.9C

Mapcode Global: WH9ZM.JW5J

Entry Name: Roman period native enclosed farmstead, 470m ESE of Fleehope

Scheduled Date: 20 May 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014493

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24633

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Kirknewton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Kirknewton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a Roman period native enclosed farmstead partly overlain
by a modern sheepfold. The farmstead is situated on the north west slope of
Fawcett Shank, a north-south ridge lying between the valleys of the College
and Lambden burns. The extensive views along the College Valley are obscured
by a modern forestry plantation which overlies the monument. The settlement
comprises two contiguous enclosures. The eastern enclosure is oval and
measures 18m east-west by 23m north-south. The eastern side is scooped into
the hillside to a depth of 0.7m with a very slight bank above. On the
western side the enclosure is defined by an earth and stone bank 2.5m wide and
up to 0.7m high. There is a simple gap entrance 1.5m wide in the north west
side. Within this enclosure is a smaller scooped area, 16m in diameter,
overlain by a modern sheepfold probably built of stone robbed from the main
enclosure bank. The second enclosure is situated against the south west side
of the first and comprises a circular scooped area with an irregular courtyard
to the north. The scooped area is 11m in diameter and enclosed on the north,
south and west sides by an earth and stone bank 1.5m wide and 0.4m high and
scooped into the hillside on the east. Within the scooped area is a stony bank
which defines a quadrant in the south west of the scoop and may indicate
secondary use. To the north is the courtyard which is irregular in shape and
measures a maximum of 15m east-west by 8m north-south; it is enclosed by a
bank of earth and stone up to 1m wide and 0.4m high on the north and is
scooped on the south east side. There is no apparent entrance from the
courtyard into the scooped area.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 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 Roman period native farmstead 470m ESE of Fleehope is reasonably well
preserved. The extent of the site is still clearly visible despite a later
sheepfold built over part of the monument and the modern forestry plantation
across the site, and it will retain significant archaeological deposits. The
monument is situated within an area of clustered archaeological sites of high
quality and forms part of a wider archaeological landscape. It will make a
significant contribution to the study of the wider settlement pattern at this

Source: Historic England

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