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Settlement 470m north east of Heddon Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Ilderton, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.4806 / 55°28'50"N

Longitude: -1.9927 / 1°59'33"W

OS Eastings: 400560.893459

OS Northings: 620749.034807

OS Grid: NU005207

Mapcode National: GBR G5J2.D6

Mapcode Global: WH9ZX.CHBW

Entry Name: Settlement 470m north east of Heddon Hill

Scheduled Date: 7 August 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020558

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34234

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Ilderton

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Ilderton St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of a settlement of Romano-British date
situated on a sheltered terrace on the north east slopes of Heddon Hill. The
settlement is one of a group of prehistoric settlements on Heddon Hill, which
are the subject of separate schedulings. The settlement comprises three hut
circles grouped around a courtyard and attached to an enclosure. The hut
circles are visible as circular platforms, between 3m and 5m in diameter,
scooped into the natural slope of the hill to a maximum depth of 1m. Each hut
circle opens into a shared yard which is visible as a roughly oval enclosure
5m by 6m and scooped to a maximum depth of 0.5m. The enclosure is contained by
a bank 2m wide by 0.3m high on the east side. Adjoining the south side of the
yard is an oval enclosure oriented north east to south west which measures 44m
by 22m within a bank up to 2m wide and a maximum height of 0.3m. There is an
entrance 2m wide through the east wall of the enclosure. Within the enclosure
the interior has been divided by an earthen bank 1m wide and 0.2m high, into
two unequal compartments. The southern one has been scooped into the natural
slope of the hill to a maximum depth of 1.5m. The northern one is slightly
terraced into the hill side to a maximum depth of 0.5m and its floor level is
lower than that of the southern compartment. A levelled platform 5m in
diameter in the southern compartment is believed to be the location of a
fourth hut circle. Above the scooped edge of the compartment is a shallow
terrace 2m wide scooped up to 0.2m deep. Along the eastern side of the
settlement there is a platform 0.4m high which has several large stones set
into its edge which are thought to form a revetment.

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 settlement 470m north east of Heddon Hill is well-preserved and will
provide evidence for the nature of Romano-British settlement in the area. The
survival of the dwellings will preserve evidence relating to domestic life at
this time, and the enclosure will add to our understanding of the economy of
the uplands during the Roman occupation.

Source: Historic England


Museum of Antiquities, Gates, T, NU/0020/C, (1980)
NU 02 SW 45,

Source: Historic England

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