Ancient Monuments

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Unenclosed Bronze Age hut circle and clearance cairn 800m ESE of Langlee

A Scheduled Monument in Ilderton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5012 / 55°30'4"N

Longitude: -2.0451 / 2°2'42"W

OS Eastings: 397249.84232

OS Northings: 623051.62736

OS Grid: NT972230

Mapcode National: GBR G45T.1S

Mapcode Global: WH9ZP.KZCK

Entry Name: Unenclosed Bronze Age hut circle and clearance cairn 800m ESE of Langlee

Scheduled Date: 16 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016140

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29324

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 the remains of an unenclosed hut circle of Bronze Age
date situated on gently sloping ground to the south west of Brands Hill. It
appears to be associated with a clearance bank and a clearance cairn. The hut
circle measures 8m in diameter externally and is defined by a bank, about 1m
wide and 0.3m high, composed of large stones and earth. There is no apparent
entrance but attached to the east side is a 12m length of bank, approximately
1.5m wide by 0.3m high and probably associated with field clearance. A small
clearance cairn about 3m in diameter and 0.3m high lies 5m beyond the end of
the bank. The hut circle is located adjacent to a discontinuous slight bank,
or lynchet, which runs for several hundred metres, and is characterised at
this point by large stones in a scarped face. A sample only of this feature
has been included within the scheduling as its relationship to the hut circle
is not clearly understood.

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 unenclosed Bronze Age hut circle, associated clearance cairn and field
bank survive in reasonable condition and will retain significant
archaeological deposits. Their importance is enhanced by proximity to a larger
prehistoric field system and unenclosed settlement to the north east, which
together form the subject of a separate scheduling (SM 29330). They are
situated within an area of clustered sites of whose remains are well preserved
and form part of a wider archaeological landscape. They will contribute to any
study of the settlement and land use patterns during this period.

Source: Historic England

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