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Three Roman period native settlements and later droveway 750m south west of Torleehouse

A Scheduled Monument in Kirknewton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5502 / 55°33'0"N

Longitude: -2.1478 / 2°8'52"W

OS Eastings: 390770.821824

OS Northings: 628505.121734

OS Grid: NT907285

Mapcode National: GBR F4F8.S7

Mapcode Global: WH9ZF.ZRDJ

Entry Name: Three Roman period native settlements and later droveway 750m south west of Torleehouse

Scheduled Date: 13 January 1972

Last Amended: 16 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016138

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29322

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Kirknewton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Kirknewton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of three Roman period native settlements
enclosed by banks of earth and stone, each with evidence of internal features.
They are associated with a later droveway which extends several hundred metres
eastward beyond the area of protection and a small section only is included in
the scheduling. The settlements are located on the lower north west slopes of
Easter Tor on gently undulating ground above the steep sides of the valley of
the College Burn; a tributary stream runs through the monument.
The most easterly settlement comprises a circular enclosure 36m in diameter,
scooped on the west side to a depth of 1m and defined by a bank 3m to 5m wide
and up to 0.7m high. Large kerb stones are visible along the outer edge of the
bank and there is no trace of an entrance. On the east side is a
sub-rectangular annexe 22m by 26m with traces of a hut circle 7m in diameter
lying in the south west corner. Across the settlement are remnants of a later
sheepfold, now only surviving as low banks, but recorded in the 1950s as
standing up to 0.6m high. The foundations of small rectangular buildings have
been built into the enclosure bank on the north side and are also attributed
to later use of the monument. A modern sheepfold stands over the western edge
of the settlement. To the north of the settlement are the slight earthworks of
two possible hut circles cut into the outer edge of the circular enclosure, as
well as a linear bank running northward; a 15m length of this bank has been
included within the monument. To the south west, at a distance of about 35m,
lies a second settlement 36m by 28m, scooped on the east and south to a depth
of 1m and defined by a bank 2m wide and up to 0.3m high. The enclosing bank is
broken and very slight on the west side and there is a possible entrance in
the south west side. Internally, there are three hut circles, one of which is
placed centrally and measures approximately 4m in diameter. In addition, there
are two yards and a possible stone setting. The northern part of the enclosing
bank has been breached at a later date and opens into the droveway which leads
past all three settlements. The droveway comprises a sunken track between 5m
and 11m wide defined by stone faced banks of earth and stone 1m wide and up to
0.5m high; the outer edge of the northern bank is revetted in places. The
droveway curves around the second settlement and crosses a stream at a fording
point and continues past the third enclosure. This enclosure is oval in shape,
measuring 30m by 26m externally, scooped on the south up to 0.75m deep and
defined by a bank about 0.1m high on all but the north east side above a
natural scarp. A possible hut circle lies against the scooped edge of the

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 settlements and later droveway are well preserved and
will retain significant archaeological deposits. Their importance is enhanced
by their close proximity to each other and their association with a later
droveway and probable reuse as part of a droving system. They are situated
within an area of clustered sites whose remains are well preserved and form
part of a wider archaeological landscape. They will contribute to any study of
the settlement pattern during the Roman period and to later agricultural

Source: Historic England

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