Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British farmstead 630m south west of White Gables

A Scheduled Monument in Akeld, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5469 / 55°32'49"N

Longitude: -2.0452 / 2°2'42"W

OS Eastings: 397247.327786

OS Northings: 628138.579973

OS Grid: NT972281

Mapcode National: GBR G459.0D

Mapcode Global: WH9ZH.KVB0

Entry Name: Romano-British farmstead 630m south west of White Gables

Scheduled Date: 26 January 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017379

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31738

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Akeld

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Wooler St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a settlement of Romano-British date
situated on the lower slopes of the east side of Humbleton Hill. Further
remains of prehistoric settlements, field systems and cairns in the vicinity
are the subject of separate schedulings. The farmstead is oval in shape and
has maximum dimensions of 30m by 22m. It is enclosed by a stone and earth bank
surviving up to 3m wide and up to 0.4m high with a simple entrance in the
south east corner. The interior of the farmstead is scooped into the hillside
to a depth of 1.2m. A level platform, upon which a prehistoric house was
constructed, is visible on the higher ground in the south western part of the
enclosure. This platform is up to 1m high and up to 4m in diameter.

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 Romano-British farmstead 630m south west of White Gables is reasonably
well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. The site is
situated within an area of prehistoric sites of high quality and forms part of
a wider archaeological landscape. It will contribute to the study of Romano-
British settlement and activity in this area.

Source: Historic England


NT 92 NE 63,
NT/9728/A-D, Gates, T, University of Newcastle upon Tyne Air Photograph Collection,

Source: Historic England

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