Ancient Monuments

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Howgill Fold Romano-British farmstead

A Scheduled Monument in Warcop, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.5657 / 54°33'56"N

Longitude: -2.375 / 2°22'30"W

OS Eastings: 375846.670174

OS Northings: 519000.253218

OS Grid: NY758190

Mapcode National: GBR CHVN.L3

Mapcode Global: WH931.HH7R

Entry Name: Howgill Fold Romano-British farmstead

Scheduled Date: 16 February 1948

Last Amended: 29 October 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018826

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27836

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Warcop

Traditional County: Westmorland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Warcop St Columba

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes the earthworks and buried remains of Howgill Fold
Romano-British farmstead. It is located on the southern slopes of Roman Fell a
short distance west of Dobbyhole Gill, and includes a sub-rectangular
stone-walled enclosure measuring approximately 67m north east - south west by
60m north west - south east within which are the remains of four stone hut
circles and a small stock enclosure. There is an entrance on the monument's
western side close to the south west corner. Within the northern half of the
enclosure there are the remains of three hut circles in which the occupants
lived. These measure 6m-12m in diameter externally; two are located adjacent
to the enclosure wall while the third lies above a slight natural scarp
running north west - south east across the enclosure. At the centre of the
southern half of the enclosure there is a stone-walled sub-rectangular stock
enclosure measuring approximately 17m by 14m externally with an entrance on
its north western side. A short distance to the east, and attached to this
stock enclosure by a bank or wall, is a hut circle.
Metal marker posts at the four corners of the monument are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath these is included.

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.

Despite some impact damage caused by artillery during military training
exercises, Howgill Fold Romano-British farmstead survives reasonably well and
is a good example of this class of monument. It is one of a number of similar
monuments located on the hillslopes of east Cumbria and will facilitate
further study of Romano-British settlement patterns in the area.

Source: Historic England


In Cumbria SMR No. 2763, Ordnance Survey, IA/RB Homestead at Howgill Fold, (1978)
RCHME Unique ID No. 14835, RCHME, Howgill Fold, (1997)
RCHME, Westmorland, (1936)

Source: Historic England

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