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Two Romano-British enclosed settlements and an associated regular aggregate field system at Waitby Intake

A Scheduled Monument in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.4607 / 54°27'38"N

Longitude: -2.3796 / 2°22'46"W

OS Eastings: 375491.601282

OS Northings: 507327.232911

OS Grid: NY754073

Mapcode National: GBR CJTV.MQ

Mapcode Global: WH93M.F43N

Entry Name: Two Romano-British enclosed settlements and an associated regular aggregate field system at Waitby Intake

Scheduled Date: 29 September 1949

Last Amended: 29 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018064

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27811

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Kirkby Stephen

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Kirkby Stephen with Mallerstang and Crosby Garrett with Soulby

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

Details

The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of two Romano-British
enclosed settlements and an associated regular aggregate field system situated
at Waitby Intake 650m north west of the covered reservoir on Wiseber Hill. The
monument is in two areas of protection separated by a railway line. The north
western settlement consists of a large sub-rectangular enclosure subdivided
into a number of smaller enclosures within which are traces of four hut
circles. The south eastern settlement is curvilinear in form and contains a
number of rectangular and sub-rectangular enclosures within which are traces
of hut circles and rectangular structures. The associated field system lies on
three sides of the south eastern settlement.
The north western settlement consists of a cluster of eight enclosures bounded
by a turf-covered stone wall up to 2m wide and 0.75m high. There is an
entrance on the western side leading into a rectangular enclosure from where
there is access into another enclosure which contains a hut circle in its
north western corner. Immediately to the east is the largest enclosure of this
cluster; it contains two hut circles adjacent to its north and east walls, and
a small rectangular enclosure interpreted as a stock pen in its north western
corner. Of the other small enclosures within this complex two contain
entrances and one has traces of a hut circle. The south eastern settlement has
been partly destroyed by the railway but in its present form consists of a
cluster of four enclosures - three to the north of the railway cutting, one to
the south. It has walls of similar dimensions to the north western settlement
and an entrance on its eastern side which leads into a rectangular enclosure.
The enclosure immediately to the north of this contains traces of three hut
circles and a rectangular building. Another rectangular building lies in the
next enclosure to the west, while a third is located adjacent to the outside
of the northern wall of the settlement. The enclosure belonging to this
settlement to the south of the railway has an entrance in its eastern side.
The part of the field system to the north of the south eastern settlement
includes three fields separated by lynchets that become banks at their
northern ends where they abut a small limestone scar. Two fields separated by
a trackway lie to the south of this settlement while banks indicate that three
fields, now partly destroyed by the railway, lie on sloping ground to the west
of the settlement. Limited excavation of the north western settlement in 1967
found pottery dated to the fourth century AD while the presence of rectangular
structures within the south eastern settlement has been interpreted as
indicating reuse of the site during the post-Roman/early medieval period.
All modern field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

Regular aggregate field systems are a group of regularly defined fields laid
out in a block or blocks which lie approximately at right angles to each
other, usually with a settlement at a focal point. They are the most common
form of land division recognised in Roman Britain and examples are known to
have been in use from the first to the fifth century AD. Many recorded
examples were a continuation or adaptation of existing pre-Roman Iron Age
field systems and were the primary units of production in a mixed farming
economy, incorporating pastoral, arable and horticultural elements. Regular
aggregate field systems are an important element of the existing landscape and
are representative of farming practices over a long period. A substantial
proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.
Despite damage to part of the monument by construction of a railway track and
the presence of some minor localised quarrying, the two Romano-British
enclosed settlements and the associated regular aggregate field system survive
reasonably well. The settlements preserve considerable detail of their layout,
are two of a number of similar monuments located on the limestone hills of
east Cumbria, and will facilitate any further study of Romano-British
settlement patterns in the area. Additionally the south eastern settlement is
considered to include structural elements dating to the early medieval period
and is thus a rare example in Cumbria of a Romano-British settlement
displaying reuse or continuity of use beyond the Roman period. The field
system is clearly visible as a series of earthwork features and its
articulation with the settlements provides important evidence of carefully
planned organisation of the landscape and landholding.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Higham, N, Jones, N, 'Archaeological Journal' in Frontiers, Forts and Farmers, , Vol. 132, (1975), 41
Roberts, B K, 'Archaeological Journal' in Some Relict Landscapes in Westmorland: A Reconsideration, (1993), 433-55
Roberts, B K, 'Archaeological Journal' in Some Relict Landscapes in Westmorland: A Reconsideration, (1993), 433-55
Webster, R A, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Excavation of a Romano-British settlement at Waitby, Westmorland, (1972), 66-73
Webster, R A, 'Trans Cumb and West Antiq and Arch Soc. New Ser.' in Excavation of a Romano-British settlement at Waitby, Westmorland, (1972), 66-73
Other
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)

Source: Historic England

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