Ancient Monuments

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Roman period native settlement 340m east of Hethpool Linn

A Scheduled Monument in Kirknewton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5498 / 55°32'59"N

Longitude: -2.1523 / 2°9'8"W

OS Eastings: 390490.353521

OS Northings: 628459.99139

OS Grid: NT904284

Mapcode National: GBR F4D8.VD

Mapcode Global: WH9ZF.XR8V

Entry Name: Roman period native settlement 340m east of Hethpool Linn

Scheduled Date: 1 May 1980

Last Amended: 24 September 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016143

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29321

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 a Roman period native settlement situated
on a spur of land above the valley of the College Burn, with steep slopes on
the north, west and south sides. It is overlooked by The Bell to the north
west and Newton Tors to the south, but has good views along the College Valley
to the north and west. The settlement comprises a roughly triangular
enclosure, measuring a maximum 51m north-south by 59m east-west overall
and is enclosed by banks of earth and stone. On the north and south sides it
is enclosed by a single bank up to 2m wide and 0.5m high and excludes the very
tip of the promontory from the enclosure; on the west side there is no
enclosing bank. The east side is enclosed by two banks and ditches which stand
0.3m-0.5m high and 2m-5m wide, with large kerb stones visible at intervals
along the outside edge of the outer bank. The entrance, 2m wide, is situated
in the north east corner of the enclosure and is marked by large orthostats on
each side. Internally, there are slight indications of two hut circles, 4m-5m
in diameter, immediately south of the entrance and, further west, a slight
bank runs north-south forming an internal division.

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 east of Hethpool Linn is well preserved and
contains significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a group of broadly
contemporary settlements situated in the College Valley and forms part of a
wider archaeological landscape in the northern Cheviots. It will contribute to
any study of the wider settlement pattern during this period.

Source: Historic England


County Number 600, Fairclough, G J, Ancient Monuments Record Form, (1977)

Source: Historic England

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