Ancient Monuments

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Small enclosed settlement on Castle Idris, 400m south west of Penrhiew Lodge

A Scheduled Monument in Newcastle on Clun, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.4345 / 52°26'4"N

Longitude: -3.119 / 3°7'8"W

OS Eastings: 324018.599979

OS Northings: 282421.595532

OS Grid: SO240824

Mapcode National: GBR B1.MNRX

Mapcode Global: VH68S.W2GK

Entry Name: Small enclosed settlement on Castle Idris, 400m south west of Penrhiew Lodge

Scheduled Date: 28 November 1957

Last Amended: 8 September 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021068

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34938

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Newcastle on Clun

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Newcastle

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a small enclosed
settlement which is either Iron Age or Romano-British in origin. It is
situated on gently sloping ground to the east of the summit of Castle Idris,
overlooking the Clun and Folley Brook valleys. From this location there are
extensive views of the surrounding hills. Other small enclosed settlements
in the vicinity which are broadly contemporary include an example on Fron,
1km to the east, and Caer-Din Ring, 2.6km to the north. Both of these
settlements are the subject of separate schedulings.

The small enclosed settlement on Castle Idris takes the form of a D-shaped
enclosure. Its overall dimensions are approximately 100m north-south by 108m
east-west, and its internal area is about 0.35ha. The earthworks which define
the interior of the settlement consist of a bank and an external ditch.
They have been modified to some extent by ploughing over the centuries.
The bank is between 10m and 14m wide, and for much of its length the outer
face survives as a pronounced scarp between 1.4m and 2.2m high. Around the
eastern half of the circuit the top of the bank has been mostly levelled by
ploughing. To the west the bank stands up to 1.4m high internally. The ditch
has largely been infilled, and is still visible in places as a shallow
depression between 5m and 8m wide. It survives well as a buried feature.
Within the interior of the enclosure are a number of platforms, which
provided level areas for the construction of buildings.

Fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them
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

During the Iron Age and Roman period a variety of settlement types were
constructed throughout Britain. Small enclosed settlements consist of discrete
areas of occupation, bounded largely or wholly by continuous single or
concentric ditches, banks or walls, and palisades. The size of these
curvilinear or rectilinear enclosures is generally less than 2ha. They were
occupied by a small community, perhaps a single family or several related
family groups. In their original form the enclosures contained a single main
domestic building, or several clusters of domestic buildings. These structures
are normally circular and often associated with rectangular buildings used for
the storage of agricultural produce. Small enclosed settlements became common
features in the landscape during the second half of the first millennium BC
and throughout the Roman period. They were the dwelling places of people
engaged in small-scale farming and craft production. Considerable numbers of
small enclosed settlements are known, but most have been levelled by
ploughing. All small enclosed settlements where earthwork or standing
structural remains survive are considered to be of national importance.

The small enclosed settlement on Castle Idris, 400m south west of Penrhiew
Lodge, is a good example of this class of monument. The survival of internal
building platforms as earthworks indicates that the buried remains of
structures and associated deposits will survive well. These deposits will
contain organic remains and a range of contemporary artefacts, which will
provide valuable insights into the activities and lifestyles of the
inhabitants. The earthworks forming the enclosure will retain evidence about
the nature of their construction. In addition, organic remains surviving in
the buried ground surfaces beneath the bank and within the ditch will
provide important information about the local environment and the use of
the surrounding land before the enclosure was built and during its
occupation. Comparison of this settlement with other broadly contemporary
settlements nearby will allow a more detailed picture of life in the Iron
Age and Roman period in this part of the Welsh Marches.

Source: Historic England

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