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South Ringles Roman period native settlement 850m north west of Middleton Dean

A Scheduled Monument in Ilderton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.4994 / 55°29'57"N

Longitude: -2.0153 / 2°0'54"W

OS Eastings: 399133.082844

OS Northings: 622846.288732

OS Grid: NT991228

Mapcode National: GBR G4CV.HF

Mapcode Global: WH9ZX.01MD

Entry Name: South Ringles Roman period native settlement 850m north west of Middleton Dean

Scheduled Date: 18 March 1966

Last Amended: 27 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014924

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24662

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Ilderton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Ilderton St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a Roman period native scooped settlement situated below
the crest of a rise on the north slope. The settlement is oval in plan and
measures 47m east-west by 57m north-south overall. It is defined by an earth
and stone bank on the north, east and west, this measures 5m wide and stands
up to 0.5m high. There a several massive kerb stones along the western edge
but on the north side the bank has largely collapsed and spread 12m downslope.
On the south east side the enclosure is scooped to a depth of 2m. There is an
entrance 3m wide on the east side and another possibly secondary entrance on
the west side which measures 2m wide. Within the enclosure is a central yard,
10m by 17m and orientated roughly east-west, with level hut platforms around
the inner edge of the outer bank. Up to four hut circles are visible situated
opposite the entrance, these measure between 5m and 10m in diameter. One hut
circle, beneath the scooped edge, is situated above a raised platform which
measures 14m by 21m. On the north side of the settlement, within the spread of
the bank, is a small scooped platform 6m by 4m. A few metres to the north is a
low sub-rectangular platform 9m by 4m attached to the outer edge of the bank.
At the north west corner of the settlement a field bank, 3m wide and between
0.1m and 0.7m high, runs from the enclosure bank downslope in a south westerly
direction and can be traced for a considerable length. It is thought this may
be contemporary with the settlement and a 20m long sample of this boundary has
been included in the scheduling. To the south is a further area of field banks
disturbed by quarrying but their relationship is not understood and they are
not included in the scheduling. A post and wire fence runs along the eastern
side of the settlement and is excluded from the scheduling although the ground
beneath is included.

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.

The South Ringles Roman period native settlement is well preserved and will
contain 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. As such it will contribute significantly to
the study of the wider settlement pattern during this period.

Source: Historic England

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