Ancient Monuments

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Prehistoric unenclosed hut circle settlement south east of Long Crags

A Scheduled Monument in Earle, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.4862 / 55°29'10"N

Longitude: -2.0695 / 2°4'10"W

OS Eastings: 395707.208663

OS Northings: 621374.823552

OS Grid: NT957213

Mapcode National: GBR F5Z0.R5

Mapcode Global: WH9ZW.5CSL

Entry Name: Prehistoric unenclosed hut circle settlement south east of Long Crags

Scheduled Date: 15 April 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015645

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29319

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Earle

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Kirknewton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


This monument includes an unenclosed hut circle settlement of prehistoric date
situated south east of Long Crags with extensive views south and eastward
towards the coastal plain. The settlement comprises six hut circles lying up
to 15m apart. They are clearly visible as earth and stone banks up to 0.4m
high and between 4m and 7m in diameter. All except one hut circle have east
facing entrances and three of these are marked by very large boulders. Two hut
circles appear to have semicircular annexes attached to one side.

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

Unenclosed hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of prehistoric
farmers. The hut circles take a variety of forms. Some are stone based and are
visible as low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area. Others were
timber constructions and only the shallow groove in which the timber uprights
used in the wall construction stood can now be identified; this may survive as
a slight earthwork feature or may be visible on aerial photographs. Some can
only be identified by the artificial earthwork platforms created as level
stances for the houses. The number of houses in a settlement varies between
one and twelve. In areas where they were constructed on hillslopes the
platforms on which the houses stood are commonly arrayed in tiers along the
contour of the slope. Several settlements have been shown to be associated
with organised field plots, the fields being defined by low stony banks or
indicated by groups of clearance cairns.
Many unenclosed settlements have been shown to date to the Bronze Age but it
is also clear that they were still being constructed and used in the Early
Iron Age. They provide an important contrast to the various types of enclosed
and defended settlements which were also being constructed and used around the
same time. Their longevity of use and their relationship with other monument
types provides important information on the diversity of social organisation
and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities.

The prehistoric unenclosed hut circle settlement south east of Long Crags is
well preserved and will retain significant archaeological deposits. It is one
of a group of prehistoric settlements located close to rock outcrops on a
ridge above the valley of the Harthope Burn. It 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 and land use pattern during this period.

Source: Historic England

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