Ancient Monuments

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Roman period native enclosed settlement 270m ESE of Fleehope

A Scheduled Monument in Kirknewton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5055 / 55°30'19"N

Longitude: -2.1812 / 2°10'52"W

OS Eastings: 388653.781285

OS Northings: 623538.585692

OS Grid: NT886235

Mapcode National: GBR F46S.L8

Mapcode Global: WH9ZM.GWK9

Entry Name: Roman period native enclosed settlement 270m ESE of Fleehope

Scheduled Date: 22 May 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014501

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24635

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 native enclosed settlement dating to the Roman
period. It is situated 270m ESE of Fleehope, on the north west slope of
Fawcett Shank on an area of moorland that has now been afforested. The
monument consists of a long, oval enclosure of earth and stone banks partly
scooped into the hillside and containing the remains of internal divisions.
The enclosure overlies the terraces of an earlier field system, possibly
associated with the defended settlement on Fawcett Shank. The full extent and
nature of this field system is not fully understood because of subsequent
afforestation, hence it is not included in the scheduling.
The enclosure is one of a cluster of broadly contemporary sites on the lower
slopes of Fawcett Shank. The settlement covers an oval area, 44m north-south
by 20m east-west. It is enclosed on three sides by an earth and stone bank,
up to 4m wide and 0.5m high. The rear, eastern, edge of the enclosure is
scooped into the hillslope to a depth of c.1.5m. Within the enclosure, there
is an internal scooped area, up to 0.5m deep, in the south east corner. The
remains of internal partition walls dividing the front of the enclosure into a
number rectangular compartments appear to represent later reuse of the site.

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

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.

Although partly afforested, the native enclosed settlement 270m ESE of
Fleehope survives substantially intact and forms a reasonably well preserved
example of a Roman period native settlement. It is one of a cluster of broadly
contemporary sites which overlie earlier cultivation terraces on the north
west slope of Fawcett Shank and, as such, it forms part of a wider
archaeological landscape. It will contribute to the study of the wider
settlement pattern during this period.

Source: Historic England

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