Ancient Monuments

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Romano-British settlement 810m south east of Whitehall

A Scheduled Monument in Kirknewton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5235 / 55°31'24"N

Longitude: -2.1683 / 2°10'6"W

OS Eastings: 389468.798973

OS Northings: 625536.643406

OS Grid: NT894255

Mapcode National: GBR F49K.CT

Mapcode Global: WH9ZM.NFNH

Entry Name: Romano-British settlement 810m south east of Whitehall

Scheduled Date: 7 August 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019927

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34228

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Kirknewton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Kirknewton St Gregory

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a settlement of Romano-British date
situated high on the steep western slopes of Hare Law above the College Burn.
The settlement consists of two enclosures. The smallest enclosure is roughly
oval in shape and encloses an area 11m east to west by 14m north to south. It
is scooped into the hillside and defined by a bank 3m wide which, on the
downslope side, stands up to 1.5m high; there is an entrance in the south
wall. Inside the enclosure at least one hut circle can be identified, 3.5m in
A larger secondary enclosure was added to the north of the first and encloses
an area 39m north to south by 36m east to west. It is defined by a bank up to
3m wide and 0.5m high with an entrance in the north east side. Within this
enclosure are four scooped platforms upon which prehistoric houses were
constructed; these platforms stand up to 0.5m high and measure between 4.5m
and 7.5m in diameter.

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 settlement 810m south east of Whitehall survives in good
condition and will provide evidence for the nature of Romano-British
settlement and land use. The remains of houses in which Romano-British farmers
lived and the associated domestic debris will enhance our understanding of
everyday life during this period. In addition, the structure of the farmstead
will reveal details of the manner of its construction. The settlement is
situated within an area of clustered and well-preserved archaeological sites
and forms part of a wider archaeological landscape in the north Cheviots.

Source: Historic England


NT 82 NE 130,
Topping, P, A Survey of College Valley, North Northumberland, 1981, BA Dissertation, University of Durham

Source: Historic England

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