Ancient Monuments

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Roman period native settlement on the south east slopes of Brands Hill, 430m north west of Cowboy's Cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Ilderton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5042 / 55°30'14"N

Longitude: -2.0313 / 2°1'52"W

OS Eastings: 398120.679637

OS Northings: 623375.266203

OS Grid: NT981233

Mapcode National: GBR G48S.0R

Mapcode Global: WH9ZP.RXXB

Entry Name: Roman period native settlement on the south east slopes of Brands Hill, 430m north west of Cowboy's Cairn

Scheduled Date: 25 June 1969

Last Amended: 15 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015642

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29313

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 settlement situated on the lower
south east slopes of Brands Hill with extensive views to the east. The
settlement is roughly circular in plan and measures approximately 29m in
diameter internally. It is enclosed by a bank of earth and stone standing up
to 1.2m high with revetting stones around the outer edge. There is a simple
gap entrance in the south east side. The interior of the enclosure is scooped
to the north east and south west sides to a maximum depth of 1m. This has left
a raised area on the north west side and a central platform on which the stone
foundations of a hut circle, 6m in diameter, are clearly visible. Three
smaller hut circles lie to the north west of the central platform: one lies
against the enclosure bank and two more are built within the width of the bank
and are secondary. A possible fourth hut circle lies immediately inside the
entrance on the west side. Around the outside of the east side of the
enclosure, at a distance of about 6m, is a low bank with large orthostats
along its path believed to be contemporary with the enclosure. At its south
end this outer bank abuts the enclosure bank near the entrance; at the north
end the bank veers away from the enclosure and runs for a distance of c.14m.

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 Roman period native settlement 430m north west of Cowboy's Cairn is
well preserved and will contain significant archaeological deposits. It is one
of a group of broadly contemporary settlements and enclosures situated on the
south eastern slopes of Brands Hill. The settlement 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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