Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British settlement 810m south of Slippery Crags

A Scheduled Monument in Alwinton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.3309 / 55°19'51"N

Longitude: -2.1761 / 2°10'33"W

OS Eastings: 388926.188894

OS Northings: 604109.370149

OS Grid: NT889041

Mapcode National: GBR F67S.PT

Mapcode Global: WHB0L.J8ZL

Entry Name: Romano-British settlement 810m south of Slippery Crags

Scheduled Date: 3 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019397

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32740

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Alwinton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Upper Coquetdale

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a settlement of Romano-British date,
situated near the apex of a promontory on ground which slopes slightly to the
south east. The settlement is visible as a roughly circular enclosure
measuring 28m north to south by 25m east to west, within a surrounding bank of
stone up to 3m wide and standing to 1m high. There is an entrance 1.5m wide in
the south west side of the enclosure, with a recumbent stone door jamb on the
eastern side. At the south west corner of the enclosure, two conjoining hut
circles are attached to, and open onto the enclosure; the hut circles are 5m
in diameter and are defined by low banks of stone 1m wide and standing to a
maximum height of 0.5m high.

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.

Despite having sustained some military damage on its western side, the
settlement 810m south of Slippery Crags near Wilkwood East is otherwise well
preserved and retains significant archaeological deposits. It is one of a
group of similar monuments in the area which taken together will add greatly
to our knowledge and understanding of late prehistoric and Romano-British
settlement and activity.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Archaeology Practice, , Recommendations for an Archaeological Management Plan, (1998), 108-9
Gates T M, TMG 14742/62-5, (1996)

Source: Historic England

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