Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Romano-British farmstead and earlier structures at Woodhouse Hill, 230m south east of Harmony Lodge

A Scheduled Monument in Studland, Dorset

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6395 / 50°38'22"N

Longitude: -1.9572 / 1°57'25"W

OS Eastings: 403120.767787

OS Northings: 82196.396988

OS Grid: SZ031821

Mapcode National: GBR 44X.XMM

Mapcode Global: FRA 67SC.WXB

Entry Name: Romano-British farmstead and earlier structures at Woodhouse Hill, 230m south east of Harmony Lodge

Scheduled Date: 17 May 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015327

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22978

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Studland

Built-Up Area: Studland

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Studland St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

Details

The monument includes a Romano-British farmstead and pre-Roman Iron Age
structures situated on an east facing sandstone slope of the Isle of Purbeck,
with views to Ballard Down to the south and Studland Bay to the north east.
The site was first identified during the 1920s when building debris and Roman
pottery were revealed during construction of a tennis court. Blocks of Purbeck
marble along with further finds of Romano-British material were also recovered
during landscaping of the area in the 1940s.
Part excavations were conducted at the site by Norman Field between 1952 and
1958. These revealed the presence of structural remains representing the
occupation of the hillside over several centuries. The structures included 12
buildings, five hearths and a series of ditches and gullies, all dating to
between the first and fourth centuries AD.
The earliest structural remains include a timber-built structure, sub-oval in
plan, which dates to the later part of the pre-Roman Iron Age. The structure
may have been broadly contemporary with a sub-rectangular building set close
by. Both structures are situated on the northern side of the site, below the
brow of the hill, and both were of a post and wattle construction. The
rectangular structure was later extended during the later half of the first
century AD. The enlargement of the structure was achieved by the addition of
lean-to extensions on three sides, which may have contributed to the collapse
of the building before the end of the century.
A second group of first century AD structures was identified 30m to the south.
These included five sub-rectangular or sub-oval structures disturbed by the
construction of a series of later buildings during the second and third
centuries AD.
The northern part of the site was later associated with two substantial
rectangular structures of third-fourth century date. The course of two ditches
or gullies were also identified near to these structures. The western ditch
ran downslope, along a north-south alignment, deviating around an early
structure. This ditch had dimensions of between 0.9m-1.5m in width and between
about 0.45m-0.75m in depth. The eastern ditch, aligned north east by south
west was of similar dimensions to the western ditch. The two ditches, which
link together to the south of the structures, had become infilled and were
unknown prior to excavation.
Investigation of the field boundary to the west revealed the presence of a
ditch containing relatively unused Roman pottery and this is likely to
represent a western boundary of the farmstead.
Finds from the excavations included quantities of Romano-British pottery,
brooches and coins dating from throughout the first to fourth centuries AD.
Also recovered were traces of slag and bronze working within some of the
structures, indicating some small scale and localised industrial working.
These finds suggest the continuous occupation of the hillside between the late
Iron Age and early Roman periods.
All posts relating to the modern field and garden boundaries are excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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 Romano-British farmstead at Woodhouse Hill originated during the pre-Roman
Iron Age and represents a relatively unusual survival of a settlement which
continued in use into the Roman period. Part excavations of areas within the
settlement have demonstrated the presence of a wide range of structural
features demonstrating both `native' and `Roman' structural influences. The
excavations have also demonstrated the extent to which buried remains will
survive within the unexcavated areas. The site is one of few Iron Age and
Romano-British farmsteads to be identified within the Isle of Purbeck and, as
such, provides a significant insight into the late prehistoric and early Roman
economy of the region.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 153
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 165-70
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 154
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 143-7
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 143-7
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 148-52
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 163-4
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 160-2
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 164-5
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 148-52
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 153
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 148-52
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 154
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 148-52
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 155
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 143-7
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 156
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 153
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 154
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 148-52
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 154
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 165
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 156-9
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 163
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 162
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 164-5
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 148-52
Field, N H, 'Proc of Dorset Nat Hist Arch Soc' in Romano-British Settlement at Studland, Dorset, , Vol. Vol 87, (1965), 170-1
Other
Collapse of structure,
Detail dimensions of the ditch,
Detail finds of RB pottery,
Detail partial excavations of 1955,
Extensive disturbance by later sites,
Interpretation as a RB boundary,
Mention excavations,
Mention structure with side extension,
Presence of similar structures to S,

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

AncientMonuments.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact AncientMonuments.uk for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself.

AncientMonuments.uk is a Good Stuff website.