Ancient Monuments

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Bronze Age unenclosed settlement and field system with burial cairns south west of Brands Hill, 350m ENE of Langlee

A Scheduled Monument in Ilderton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5054 / 55°30'19"N

Longitude: -2.043 / 2°2'34"W

OS Eastings: 397382.189729

OS Northings: 623511.21877

OS Grid: NT973235

Mapcode National: GBR G45S.H9

Mapcode Global: WH9ZP.LWCD

Entry Name: Bronze Age unenclosed settlement and field system with burial cairns south west of Brands Hill, 350m ENE of Langlee

Scheduled Date: 16 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016142

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29326

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 prehistoric landscape comprising an unenclosed round
house settlement and an associated field system. Within the field system are
banks, irregular enclosures, clearance cairns and at least two burial cairns.
The monument is situated on the south west of Brands Hill on a ridge above the
valley of the Harthope Burn; it is separated from further monuments on Brands
Hill by a deep gully to the north east.
The field system stretches for several hundred metres across the hill
ridge and is characterised by a wide scatter of around 40 field clearance
cairns. These are made of earth and stone and measure between 3m and 5m in
diameter and stand up to 0.6m high. Amongst the clearance cairns are several
which have the character of burial cairns; these appear more compact and
rounded and one, measuring 5.5m by 4m by 0.6m high, has been robbed in the
centre. A slight clearance bank appears to define the western edge of the
field system. It stands no more than 0.2m high by 2m wide and a 100m sample
only has been included in the scheduling. Other slight field banks lie on the
eastern side of the field system, running north west to south east and
measuring 1.5m wide by 0.2m high.
In the centre of the field system lies a smaller enclosure interpreted as
a field plot. It is defined by a slight and fragmentary bank up to 1.5m wide
and 0.3m high, enhanced on the east side by the natural slope. It is
associated with four round house platforms which measure 6m to 10m in
diameter, with walls up to 0.2m high. A fifth round house platform lies 50m
east of the enclosure and is raised 0.3m to 0.4m above the surrounding land; a
possible sixth platform lies 50m north of the enclosure, set below an
artifically scarped edge. A smaller, circular enclosure, which measures 14m in
diameter externally and is defined by banks 1.5m wide and up to 0.2m high lies
10m west of the field. Attached to the western side of this enclosure
is a disturbed area of tumbled stone, which is interpreted as a later animal
pen and which probably obscures an earlier annexe or hut circle. A small
circular annexe is also attached to the east side and measures about 7m in
A post and wire fence crossing the site from south west to north east is
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

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 Bronze Age unenclosed hut circle settlement and its associated field
system and burial cairns are well preserved and will retain significant
archaeological deposits. Their importance is enhanced by the survival nearby
of other prehistoric and Roman period native settlements and field systems
whose remains are well preserved, clustered on Brands Hill. It forms part of a
wider archaeological landscape in the Cheviot Hills and will contribute to any
study of the wider settlement and land use pattern during this period.

Source: Historic England

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