Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British farmstead 900m north east of triangulation point on Gains Law

A Scheduled Monument in Akeld, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5511 / 55°33'3"N

Longitude: -2.059 / 2°3'32"W

OS Eastings: 396374.246595

OS Northings: 628598.916263

OS Grid: NT963285

Mapcode National: GBR G427.0X

Mapcode Global: WH9ZH.BQRV

Entry Name: Romano-British farmstead 900m north east of triangulation point on Gains Law

Scheduled Date: 26 January 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017381

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31740

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 farmstead of Romano-British date,
situated on the lower slopes of the north west face of Humbleton Hill. The
farmstead is oval in shape and has maximum dimensions of 21m by 17m. It is
enclosed by a stone and earth bank up to 1.5m wide and up to 0.4m high. The
interior contains the circular foundations of a prehistoric house 6m in
diameter and standing up to 0.2m high.

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 900m north east of a triangulation point on Gains
Law reasonably well preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits.
It is situated within an area of prehistoric sites of high quality and it
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 30,
NT/9728/A-D, Gates, T, University of Newcastle upon Tyne Air Photograph Collection, (1986)

Source: Historic England

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