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Roman period native settlement at Calf Holm, immediately west of Dine Holm Scar

A Scheduled Monument in Forest and Frith, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.6503 / 54°39'1"N

Longitude: -2.2108 / 2°12'38"W

OS Eastings: 386494.588248

OS Northings: 528374.412255

OS Grid: NY864283

Mapcode National: GBR FG0N.5S

Mapcode Global: WHB3W.0CJV

Entry Name: Roman period native settlement at Calf Holm, immediately west of Dine Holm Scar

Scheduled Date: 14 December 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019162

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33492

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Forest and Frith

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Forest and Frith

Church of England Diocese: Durham


The monument includes a Roman period native settlement on the north bank of
the Tees at Calf Holm in Upper Teesdale. Calf Holm is a rather inaccessible
area of flood plain at a bend in the Tees, below Dine Holm Scar. The
settlement consists of three interconnected rubble banked enclosures, abutting
the base of the scar, the remains of at least two hut circles, and a small
oval structure with an attached rubble bank.
The most conspicuous of the enclosures is 30m wide and 26m from front to back,
with rubble banks up to 3m wide and 0.8m high. One of the hut circles is
inside this enclosure, at the foot of the scar. This is about 5m in diameter.
Another possible hut circle is visible as a slight stony crest attached to the
north side of the enclosure.
A second, larger enclosure is connected to the north side of the enclosure
described above. This larger enclosure measures 52m by 45m and has a rubble
bank up to 3m wide and 0.7m high. A later sheepfold or shelter has been built
over the front edge of this enclosure, using some of the stone from the rubble
A third, smaller enclosure is attached to the south side of the first. It is
much less substantial than the other two, and its walls are just visible as a
slight stony crest.
Outside the enclosures, near the river, west of the sheepfold, there is a hut
circle visible as a slight stony crest forming a circle about 7m in diameter.
A small rubble walled oval stucture, 6m by 4m, survives near the south end of
Calf Holm. A short length of rubble bank extends from this towards the river.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 at Calf Holm, Force Garth survives well,
and it is one of several Romano-British settlements in Upper Teesdale. Their
form and distribution will add to the sum of knowledge relating to Romano-
British settlement and land use in upland areas.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Coggins, D, 'Upper Teesdale the archaeology of a North Pennine Valley' in Upper Teesdale The Archaeology Of A North Pennine Valley, , Vol. 150, (1986), 88

Source: Historic England

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