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Roman period native settlement on south eastern slope of Hart Heugh, 490m north west of Carey Burn Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Earle, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5214 / 55°31'16"N

Longitude: -2.0467 / 2°2'47"W

OS Eastings: 397151.680283

OS Northings: 625290.99976

OS Grid: NT971252

Mapcode National: GBR G44L.PK

Mapcode Global: WH9ZP.JHM3

Entry Name: Roman period native settlement on south eastern slope of Hart Heugh, 490m north west of Carey Burn Bridge

Scheduled Date: 15 August 1973

Last Amended: 16 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016237

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29328

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Earle

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Wooler St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a Roman period native settlement situated on a
promontory, with a natural ravine on the east side, north of Carey Burn on the
south facing slope of Hart Heugh hill. The settlement is roughly circular in
plan and measures approximately 80m in diameter externally. It is enclosed by
a bank of earth and stone up to 0.7m high externally and enhanced on the east
side by a natural ravine. On the north side the settlement is terraced into
the hillside with walls surviving to a maximum height of 1.5m. On the west
side, facing stones are visible on both sides of the enclosure bank. There is
a 3m wide simple gap entrance on the south side with large boulders visible on
each side. The interior is divided by a natural escarpment which runs north
west to south east. This divides the site into two parts. The south west half
contains the foundations of one rectangular building measuring 7.5m by 4m. The
north eastern half contains the remains of one rectangular building 16m by 7m
and another partly obscured by rubble, 10m long. On the north west side of the
enclosure a section of walling appears to have collapsed and has spread 4m
beyond the outer bank. This may mask another rectilinear enclosure about 8m

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 on the south eastern slope of Hart Heugh is
well preserved and will contain significant archaeological deposits. It is one
of a group of broadly contemporary settlements and enclosures in this area and
therefore forms part of a wider archaeological landscape. It will contribute
to the study of the wider settlement pattern during this period.

Source: Historic England

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