Ancient Monuments

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Roman period native enclosed settlement and scooped enclosure on the south east slopes of Brands Hill, 350m north west of Cowboy's Cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Ilderton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5028 / 55°30'10"N

Longitude: -2.032 / 2°1'55"W

OS Eastings: 398078.926935

OS Northings: 623229.508917

OS Grid: NT980232

Mapcode National: GBR G47T.W6

Mapcode Global: WH9ZP.RYLB

Entry Name: Roman period native enclosed settlement and scooped enclosure on the south east slopes of Brands Hill, 350m north west of Cowboy's Cairn

Scheduled Date: 25 June 1969

Last Amended: 15 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015643

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29314

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 enclosed settlement and a scooped
enclosure situated on the lower south east slopes of Brands Hill on a spur of
land defined by deep gullies on each side. There are extensive views to the
east. The settlement is sub-rectangular in plan and measures 40m by 30m
overall. It is enclosed by a bank of earth and stone up to 1.2m high with
traces of external revetting. The entrance is on the south east side and has
an out-turned bank on the north and an in-turned bank on the south, possibly
representing a small hut circle. The interior of the enclosure is scooped in
the north west corner to a depth of 1m, leaving the southern part of the
enclosure at a higher level. Three hut circles lie in this raised area and
measure an average 7m in diameter. Eight metres west of the settlement lies a
circular scooped enclosure, 18.5m in diameter. There is a possible entrance on
the north east side and there are no internal features visible. This enclosure
is believed to be contemporary with the adjacent settlement and is interpreted
as a stock enclosure.

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 and scooped enclosure 350m north west of
Cowboy's Cairn is well preserved and contains 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 any
study of the wider settlement pattern during this period.

Source: Historic England

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