Ancient Monuments

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Trowupburn Roman period native enclosed settlement, 120m north of Trowupburn Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Kirknewton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5334 / 55°32'0"N

Longitude: -2.1977 / 2°11'51"W

OS Eastings: 387618.929455

OS Northings: 626643.577555

OS Grid: NT876266

Mapcode National: GBR F43G.08

Mapcode Global: WH9ZM.65QW

Entry Name: Trowupburn Roman period native enclosed settlement, 120m north of Trowupburn Farm

Scheduled Date: 20 May 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014507

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24604

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 an enclosed settlement typical of the Roman period. It
is situated on a slight south facing slope, north of Trowupburn Farm. The
settlement sits within an improved field, close to the farm track. To the
north of the settlement are the remains of cultivation terraces. The full
extent and nature of these terraces is not yet fully understood, hence they
are not included in the monument. The settlement has been scooped into the
hillside and consists of a circular enclosure, now grass covered, with slight
remains of two house platforms inside measuring up to 8m in diameter. The
enclosure measures 18.8m east-west and 16m north-south. The southern bank of
the enclosure is very slight, but the northern bank survives to a height of
approximately 2m where it has been scooped into the slope.
A modern electricity switch which is located on the southern perimeter of the
monument is excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath it is

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 settlement is in good condition despite pasture improvement and appears to
be substantially intact. It is one of a number of similar sites in this area
and will contribute to any study of Romano-British settlement patterns in this

Source: Historic England

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