Ancient Monuments

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Small enclosed settlement on Fron, 340m west of St John's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Newcastle on Clun, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.4368 / 52°26'12"N

Longitude: -3.1049 / 3°6'17"W

OS Eastings: 324986.243006

OS Northings: 282665.017215

OS Grid: SO249826

Mapcode National: GBR B2.ML7Q

Mapcode Global: VH768.40FS

Entry Name: Small enclosed settlement on Fron, 340m west of St John's Church

Scheduled Date: 9 November 1966

Last Amended: 8 September 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021069

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34939

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
occupies a commanding position on the eastern end of a spur to the east of
the summit of Fron. From this location there are extensive views of the Clun
valley and the surrounding hills. Other small enclosed settlements in the
vicinity which are broadly contemporary include an example on Castle Idris,
1km to the west, and Caer-Din Ring, 2.5km to the north west. Both of these
settlements are the subject of separate schedulings.

The enclosed settlement on Fron takes the form of a sub-rectangular enclosure.
Its overall dimensions are approximately 82m south west-north east by 105m
north west-south east, and its internal area is about 0.32ha. The earthworks
which define the interior of the settlement consist of a bank, constructed of
earth and stone, an external ditch, and an outer (counterscarp) bank. With the
exception of the north western side the internal bank is between 5m and 7m
wide. Its outer face is a pronounced scarp between 2m and 2.8m high, but the
top and inner face of the bank have been reduced in height by ploughing.
Former cultivation ridges, post-dating the settlement, run across the interior
and are aligned north west-south east. A much larger bank has been constructed
to define the north western side of the interior, which faces a gentle rise
to the summit of Fron to the north west. It is between 13m and 15m wide, and
is just over 3m high externally and 1.8m internally. This bank appears to be
a later feature overlying the original smaller bank on the north western side.
The width of the ditch on all four sides varies from 4m to 5.5m. Along much of
the north eastern side it has become infilled as a result of later cultivation
but will survive as a buried feature. On the north western side the ditch has
a sharp profile, which supports the suggestion that the defences along this
side were remodelled at a later date. Along the top outer edge of the ditch
the steep rock-cut face is still plainly visible. Along the south eastern and
south western sides, and around the northern corner, earth and stone have been
deposited next to the outer edge of the ditch to form a counterscarp bank. It
is between 3m and 4m wide and stands up to 0.8m high. The original entrance
into the settlement appears to be at the southern corner, where there is a
causeway across the ditch and a gap between the banks on the north western
and south western sides.

All gate and fence posts, and a garden seat, 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 are 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 Fron is a good example of this class of
monument. In common with the other broadly contemporary settlements in the
area, it is considered to contain significant buried deposits, structural
features, artefactual and organic remains, which have the potential to
illustrate many aspects of life during the Iron Age and Roman period. The
defences will retain evidence about the nature of their construction and
modification. In addition, organic remains surviving in the buried ground
surfaces beneath the banks and within the ditch will provide important
information about the local environment and the use of the surrounding
land before the settlement was built and during its occupation.

Source: Historic England


Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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