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Latitude: 55.5097 / 55°30'35"N
Longitude: -2.0292 / 2°1'45"W
OS Eastings: 398251.706398
OS Northings: 623997.321679
OS Grid: NT982239
Mapcode National: GBR G48Q.GQ
Mapcode Global: WH9ZP.SSW1
Entry Name: Enclosed settlement and subsidiary enclosure on east slope of Brands Hill, 700m south west of the south western edge of Broom Crook Plantation
Scheduled Date: 15 April 1997
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1015634
English Heritage Legacy ID: 24658
Civil Parish: Earle
Traditional County: Northumberland
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland
Church of England Parish: Ilderton St Michael
Church of England Diocese: Newcastle
This monument includes a native settlement dating to the Roman period. It is
situated on the east slope of Brands Hill, 700m south west of the south
western edge of Broom Crook Plantation. The monument consists of two
contiguous settlement enclosures deeply scooped into the hillside. The
enclosures contain the remains of scooped courtyards and the stone foundations
of a prehistoric building. An irregularly shaped subsidiary enclosure is
attached to the north west of the settlement enclosures.
The southern settlement enclosure measures c.18m by 16m internally. It is
enclosed by an earth and stone bank, 3m wide and up to 1m high, with a wide,
stone faced entrance in the south east side. Within this enclosure are the
remains of two scooped courtyards. The eastern courtyard measures c.9m by 8m
and is deeply scooped to a depth of c.2m. The interior is obscured by piles of
loose dumped stone. The western courtyard measures 7m in diameter, it is
defined on the eastern side by a low bank c.1m wide, and the back of the
courtyard is scooped into the hillside to a depth of c.1m. The stone
foundations of a prehistoric building, 3m by 4m, lie immediately upslope from
this courtyard. The northern settlement enclosure measures 9m by 10m
internally. It is enclosed by a stone and earth bank, 3m wide and up to 0.7m
high, with a stone faced entrance, 1.5m wide, in the north side. A further
entrance connects it to the settlement enclosure to the south. A large pile
of loose stone has been dumped over the south eastern part of the enclosure
An irregularly shaped subsidiary enclosure is attached to the west side of the
settlement enclosures. This is defined by a bank of large, loose boulders, up
to 3m wide and 0.5m high. It is roughly triangular in shape, with maximum
dimensions of 50m by 26m. It is divided internally by a slight bank aligned
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
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 enclosed settlement and subsidiary enclosure on the east slope of Brands
Hill forms a well preserved example of a Roman period native settlement. The
circuits of the two main enclosures and the subsidiary enclosure survive well
and the interior scooped courtyards and building foundations are clearly
visible. The site is situated within an area of clustered archaeological sites
of high quality and 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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